The History of Rushmore Tramway Adventures

50 years of operation; 15 years of renewed renovation!

In 1965, the Rushmore Aerial Tramway opened to the public. Situated about two miles west of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, each of the sixteen, two-person gondolas offered visitors a remarkable, aerial view of this cherished, national treasure. When guests disembarked at the summit, they were treated to even more spectacular and rarely-seen views.

The original mountain-top park consisted of viewing decks and walking trails, along with waterfalls and flower beds that were crafted out of the mountaintop’s native granite. Fifty years later, these pristine elements remain the foundation of our Mount Rushmore attractions—but there is now so much more to enjoy!

New Ownership and All New Attractions!

Contractors on the hill assembling the Alpine Slide back in 2003
Alpine Slide Construction, 2003
Tubing Hill grand opening ceremony in 2019
Tubing Hill Grand Opening, 2019
In 1999, Rushmore Aerial Tramway was purchased by new owners and Rushmore Tramway Adventures was born! A variety of changes took place:

  • The first additions to the summit were a restaurant and restrooms—giving visitors the opportunity to prolong their stay at the top with food and drink.
  • Shortly thereafter, the alpine slide was added. Getting down the mountain had never been so much fun!
  • The original gondolas were replaced with a modern chairlift of 36 continuously-moving chairs.
  • We offer sparkling mica-strewn pathways, along with all-new and ever-expanding flower gardens.
  • In 2013, another treat for sight-seeing, thrill-seekers was added to the Rushmore Tramway Adventures lineup—a brand-new zipline.
Our mountaintop park has always offered unparalleled, birds-eye views of historic Keystone, SD and the surrounding region, but there have never been so many ways to enjoy the mountain or supplement your visit to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial! Call us at (605) 593-4923 to learn more. Better yet, come see us in person!