The truth is that a lot of people find Mount Rushmore underwhelming. But keep in mind that it was virtually designed to be a road trip pit stop, right down to the ample RV parking. It’s best seen as one part of the larger Black Hills area, which is well worth exploring fully. If there is one tip that could be really useful, it would be to check the weather beforehand, because it can get extremely foggy.
“American History, Alive in Stone...”
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States. Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres and is 5,725 feet above sea level. South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region. Robinson's initial idea was to sculpt the Needles; however, Gutzon Borglum rejected the Needles site because of the poor quality of the granite and strong opposition from environmentalists and Native American groups. They settled on the Mount Rushmore location, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure. Robinson wanted it to feature western heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud and Buffalo Bill Cody but Borglum decided the sculpture should have a more national focus, and chose the four presidents whose likenesses would be carved into the mountain. After securing federal funding, construction on the memorial began in 1927, and the presidents' faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. Upon Gutzon Borglum's death in March 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum took over construction. Although the initial concept called for each president to be depicted from head to waist, lack of funding forced construction to end in late October 1941. The U.S. National Park Service took control of the memorial in 1933, while it was still under construction, and has managed the memorial to the present day. It attracts nearly three million people annually. National Treasure 2 might have been a complete fabrication of American history, but Nicolas Cage was right about one thing: there's a secret room hidden away in Keystone, South Dakota's Mount Rushmore.. and it's filled with awesome stuff!
Go late! They stop collecting parking tolls at a certain time. Stay for the lighting ceremony 30 min. after sunset.
Seriously, everyone needs to see Mount Rushmore just for the sheer reason that it even exists. I mean I don't know about you, but if one of my friends said they're thinking of blowin up a mountain in hopes that the faces of George, Abe, Roosevelt, and Jefferson would somehow appear on it, I would have to really sit down and determine whether or not to have them hauled off to the loony bin. Luckily, the artists responsible for Mount Rushmore, Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum didn't let anything stop them because this is truly a remarkable work of art and a must see if you're passing through the area.
You're planning a roadtrip, right? It's Mt. Rushmore! Go see it if you haven't yet. Pay to park. There is also a fantastic little tourist town below, which I enjoyed as much as the memorial itself - great place to grab dinner, a beer, and as many Mt. Rushmore novelties as one would ever want. The scenery is gorgeous and the air is fresh. There was a laser light show after dark. My parents loved the photos and I'll probably see them again in the Christmas card.
$11 for parking is the total fee for your entire family to get in for the year! The evening show is the most amazing presentation. If you do not feel patriotic and inspired after that I do not know what will make you feel that way. They brought all the veterans down at the end, and it was amazing!
Everyone should see this place. The lighting ceremony is done when the sun goes down. They show a 20 min history video and sing the national anthem and put the spotlight on the mountain. Afterwards they ask veterans to go down to lower the flag. Very patriotic. Cost to get in is free. Parking is $11 and they give you a pass for the entire year. Great stop.
Great park. If you're up for a small walk, the President Walk is only .6 miles, but there are stairs. The ice cream scoops are enormous and you can order Jefferson's vanilla recipe. You can't miss patriotic ice cream.
A great place to get your picture is from walking up to Grand View Terrace. Also, be aware that peak visiting time is June, July, and August, and traffic sometimes gets backed up, so be sure to get there early or late in the afternoon.
A must see! Very patriotic place. Go late afternoon, eat a buffalo burger in the cafe, stay for the illumination ceremony--bring a jacket and blanket as it gets cool. This is an amazing place!
If you are on a road trip in the west, you need to see Mount Rushmore. The history is great and it's just one of those places that you can sit in sheer awe and amazement. It took an artist with a vision, 400 hundred men, leadership, and communication to make this monument become a reality! We heard that the night time presentation and lighting ceremony os beautiful. The timing just didn't work out for us. The walking path around the monument is lovely and it also gives you different vantage points for viewing the monument. The needle spired stones on the drive up to and away from the monument are AMAZING!! The drive is as great as the monument!!
Great National park with plenty of locations to get great pictures. Heads up - your national parks pass is not vaild here; they do not charge for entrance to the park - they charge for parking. Tricky.
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Mount Rushmore National Memorial
- Sun - Sat: 5:00 am - 11:00 pm
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Good for Cultural travelers. Has a Historic vibe.
Credit Cards Accepted
- National park
Campground, Parking, Dining