Tunnel Vision at Mount Rushmore | Black Hills Travel Blog

Tunnel Vision at Mount Rushmore

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Lee Toma’s photo of Mount Rushmore through a tunnel on Iron Mountain Road

Mount Rushmore is the hands-down favorite place to visit in the Black Hills, but Iron Mountain Road has to rank a close second. For starters, it starts just a couple miles from the mountain sculpture, so it's hard to miss it. Secondly, it connects Rushmore with another very striking piece of the Black Hills - Custer State Park. Third, it does so through some of the most distinctively Black Hills landscape you'll ever see.

Part of that landscape includes the tunnels. They were designed more for aesthetics than for function. Sure, it would have easy enough to plot another route - but really, why do that when high explosives are an option? Of course, there's a little more involved in the Iron Mountain Road tunnels than the explosions that carved them (although you have to imagine that for the former miners who built them, the chance to play with boom-boom sticks again had to have been a big plus).

Mount Rushmore had a lot to do with the road's construction. The three tunnels along the highway were built specifically for the views of the four presidential heads that you can glimpse through them. Visitors to the Black Hills have been ogling these epic tunnel shots since the 1930s.

While out perusing blogs and sites on the Black Hills, I saw a photo of one of these tunnel views posted by traveler Lee Toma, which you see above. He was visiting the Black Hills in the autumn of 2000 on his way to Yellowstone, and he snapped quite a few other pictures while he was out this way. Check out his other shots if you feel like a little armchair traveling.

If you've got some epic Black Hills vacation photos you wouldn't mind me posting for the world to see, send them my way.

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