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Lindsey Campbell

While Google is great at sending you on virtual safari or into the depths of Machu Picchu—and is undoubtedly host to some the best apps for travelers—it seems there’s one destination location the company’s Google Maps app can’t seem to get right: Mount Rushmore.

Here's the situation: A glitch in the app routes unsuspecting visitors that type in “Mount Rushmore, SD” down a small gravel road to a Methodist campground called Storm Mountain Center—a spot a dozen or so miles away from the actual memorial. 

The issue lies with how users search for the landmark. The Rapid City Journal reports inputting “Mount Rushmore National Memorial” will provide the correct route, but a more vague query such as “Mount Rushmore, South Dakota” will lead visitors astray. The company has reported the issue to Google numerous times, but claims the fix only lasts a year or so before tourists are back on their doorstep.

Some misled travelers realize this seemingly unimpressive route can’t possibly lead to the great American landmark, however others seem insistent on trusting their technology, marching onto the campground’s property or down its hiking trails in pursuit of the attraction.

Related: Nine Secrets of Mount Rushmore

In fact, it’s such a problem, that the Storm Mountain Center has taken to posting a large sign saying, “Your GPS is WRONG. This is not Mount Rushmore,” at their entrance.  Seems they’ve tired of redirecting visitors on the correct path, and with 3 million tourists flocking to the national monument each year, who could blame them?

So, next time you’re out on an adventure, just remember: sometimes your GPS is wrong. Who knows, something beautiful could come from shutting off your phone and asking for directions. 

Lindsey Campbell is the Associate Audience Engagement Editor. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @lyndzicampbell

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