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Areas in The Needles Of Rushmore

Elkhorn Peak 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Grizzly Bear Creek 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Horsethief Lake Area 66 / 15 / 1 / 3 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 81
Iron Mountain 56 / 49 / 11 / 62 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 158
Mount Rushmore National Memorial 177 / 243 / 34 / 294 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 686
Palmer Gulch 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Elevation: 4,735 ft
GPS: 43.912, -103.435 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 118,905 total, 12,362/month
Shared By: Mike Madsen on Feb 28, 2017
Admins: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Madsen, Mark Rafferty
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Description

The Needles of Rushmore encompasses most of the same areas described in the new guidebook. This is one of the more complex areas in the Black Hills. There is endless rock as far as the eye can see. With the tall granite formations of Mount Rushmore to the vast sea that is The Chessman on the flanks of Black Elk Peak 7,242ft ( Harney Peak.) Or as one looks out among the oasis of spires scattered in a serene valley. Situated ready for the next adventurer to find his or her way to their summit. The Playground offers a grand Black Hills experience and from the distance you can see the mighty Cathedral Spires and Little Devils Tower.

Getting There

for most of the information listed on this page a good hub town for these areas is either keystone on the east or Hill City on the west. Most of the climbing lies between these two towns.


936 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Needles Of Rushmore

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Second Hand Rose Arete
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Solitaire
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Weird Water
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Gossamer
Trad, Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Shark's Breath
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Waves
Sport 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Bolts for Bobs
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Star Dancer
Sport, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Garfield Goes To Washington
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Shark Bait
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Pointy Little Devil
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Valdez Overhang
Sport, TR
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Baba Cool
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Pelican's Dike-ination
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Mr. Critical
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Second Hand Rose Arete Mount Rushmore Na… > S Seas > Hornets Nest 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Solitaire Mount Rushmore Na… > S Seas > Borneo 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Weird Water Mount Rushmore Na… > … > Marker > Middle Marker Area 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Gossamer Mount Rushmore Na… > … > Monster North > Picture Window 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Sport
Shark's Breath Mount Rushmore Na… > S Seas > Sharks Fin 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Waves Mount Rushmore Na… > S Seas > Shipyard Rock 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport 2 pitches
Bolts for Bobs Mount Rushmore Na… > S Seas > Borneo 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Star Dancer Mount Rushmore Na… > … > Marker > Middle Marker Area 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport, TR
Garfield Goes To Washington Mount Rushmore Na… > Emancipation > White House Wall 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Shark Bait Mount Rushmore Na… > S Seas > Sharks Fin 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Pointy Little Devil Mount Rushmore Na… > … > Monster North > Shakers 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Valdez Overhang Mount Rushmore Na… > Chopping Block > Chopping Block 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport, TR
Baba Cool Mount Rushmore Na… > Chopping Block > Chopping Block 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Pelican's Dike-ination Mount Rushmore Na… > S Seas > Borneo 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Mr. Critical Mount Rushmore Na… > S Seas > Hornets Nest 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Needles Of Rushmore »

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SThal
Logan, UT
SThal   Logan, UT
Follow the obvious route. Aug 22, 2017
Mark Orsag
Omaha, NE
Mark Orsag   Omaha, NE
As someone who transitions gym to crag every summer at Rushmore, a couple of tips for climbers doing that. This is a less natural transition than at many other outdoor climbing areas because of the generally stiff grades and highly technical nature of the climbing with lots of friction moves and small crystals for holds. But the payoffs for "going to school" on the Rushmore granite are huge. Hundreds of great sport routes from 5.6 to 5.13 (with all of those grades well-represented). Start at South Seas or Chopping Block which tend to be, on the whole, a bit "softer" than some of the other crags at Rushmore. Another great Rushmore crag for gym to crag climbers would be Breezy Point. The rock is definitely more featured and hosts dozens of well-protected sport routes. There is some annoying (and potentially dangerous if you have kids in tow, etc.) scrambling, but the climbing is way more "handsy" than at other Rushmore crags and well worth the trouble. Aug 22, 2017
MELINDA  
For first time climbers in the area, figuring out which pulloff to park at/finding the trailhead with the sign-in khiosk, and finding the routes in the Monster, Marker, Shaker area MIGHT be challenging. There are some contradicting information in the descriptions and comments. I really love MP but sometimes it's best to buy the book. My boyfriend and I used MP to find the area and routes and both struggled. He has a great amount of expirence and the directions still stumped him. Once we actually figured out where to park and sign-in we made our way to the base of the correct area. Then the biggest challenge was finding where the routes were... We didn't want to be overly confident and jump on routes we thought were the correct ones. The confusing directions for all of the routes led us to frustration and disappointment. My boyfriend has decades of expirence and skill and he wasn't just going to jump on a route he wasn't sure was correct. I followed his lead and failed to figure out what routes we were looking at. From leaving the campground to finally giving up and driving to Hills City to buy the book was about a three hour adventure. BtW, nowhere in the town of Keystone has any guide books! You must go to Hill City which is about 20-30 min away from Keystone. Go to Granite Sports. They had a great selection of books and were very nice and helpful! We bought "The Needles of Mount Rushmore" by Andrew Nurse and Andrew Burr. It was recommended to us and we heard from others this was the book to get. If the weather turns and starts hailing and storming for food stop in Desparados for some food! Great prices for the area and very friendly staff. When we finally got back to climbing using the book got us quickly to where we wanted to climb and with their helpful descriptions we found the routes immediately and we got to climb! I recommend to routes in Magna Carta, Picture Window routes.. cool, unique routes. Getting to the arĂȘte can be spooky of you don't like a lot of exposure. Layback moves are key to make it more fun and less challenging. Placing fear towards to the of any of the routes on this wall can be tricky and spooky with the exposure I mentioned before. Jun 9, 2017

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