Emancipation Rockphormation is the sister formation immediately north of Mt. Rushmore (Six Grandfathers). The Lakota Sioux likely distinguished Six Grandfathers for the same reason Borglum selected Mt Rushmore for his creation; its mass and quality of granite. Those very same characteristics are what define the Emancipation Rockphormation Area. The area is to Black Hill climbing what the Washington Monument is to the National Mall in DC. The area was originally off limits to climbing until being liberated in the emancipation rock-proclamation, in which the NPS correctly recognized it as a separate formation from Mt. Rushmore. The original Mason Dixon line was known as Green Valley or the Vale of Tranquility. This original dividing line was the major SE-NW aligned gully located to the N of Mt. Rushmore. However, due to the constriction of civil liberties as a result of the PATRIOT Act and Greenpeace’s hubris, legal climbing limits were pushed back, threatening the entire Emancipation Rockphormation Area.
In 2010, the NPS opened dialogue with The Black Hills Climbing Coalition to ensure climbing access for the area and to ensure the park’s security needs were met. This resulted in the salvation of the annexation, pushing the new climbing boundary back to the summit of each route along the main formation. This formation is a very privileged climbing area that many of our founding fathers have fought to protect. It should be respected to preserve the liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. Violations carry up to a $5,000 fine and up to six months in prison.
Please respect the signs and rappel the routes as prescribed (ALL ROUTES ON WHITEHOUSE WALL FROM PRESIDENTIAL VETO TO ROYAL FLUSH MUST BE RAPPELLED.) From the entrance of Mt Rushmore National Park, continue NW onSD HWY 244 for 1.1 miles to the parking pullout on the E side of the highway. It is located just prior to the large towering formations Inner Marker and Middle Marker. Park at the pullout. Approach: From the pullout, head E along the climbers’ path up the gully that borders Magna Carta Area to the N (Middle Marker and Inner Marker formations). The approaches all split off from this trail. See individual formations for exact approach.
Descent: Rappel (2 bolt anchors) *unless otherwise annotated.
Formations are listed with outlying formations first (W-NW-N-E); then Whitehouse Wall (W-NW-N-NE).