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Favorite thing: I hope this map is helpful is locating some of the best spots to enjoy the monument and hopefull help you map out where you want to go to get the best photograph.
Mount Rushmore National Momument
13000 Highway 244
Building 31, Suite1
Keystone, SD 57751
Visitor Information Recorded Message
Updated Jul 17, 2004
Favorite thing: Get to know Badlands National Park
Fondest memory: ****Stargazing in Badlands National Park****is absolutely AMAZING! I cannot describe the beauty. You can see the stripe of the Milky Way against the universe and there are more shooting stars than you can believe. Each shooting star was a different fiery color. If you get a chance, go to the evening ranger talk. You can listen to history and facts about the park while watching nature's fireworks. For more Badlands pics, see my Badlands travelogue to the right.
Written Feb 25, 2003
Fondest memory: Shown here is the view looking across the Missouri River. Driving across this state really gives you an appreciation for how much open space there is there. The rolling hills that seem to stretch on forever and open ranges with occasional ranches and farm animals is really relaxing to see as you drive along.
Written Feb 25, 2003
Favorite thing: South Dakota along with Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska are mainly farming and this is picture shows our wealth. This picture happened to be taken just over the border in Minnesota but it could be any one of the farm belt states.
When farmers or grain elevators run out of storage space, the corn is piled many feet deep until they can get enough train cars or trucks to haul it out to the processing plants. The newest use for this yellow gold is to distill it for ethonal for mixing with gasoline. The byproducts are also sold as animal feed.
Updated Jul 12, 2003
Favorite thing: Stop and enjoy the wide open space. It's a flat endless landscape broken up with amazing lunar-like buttes formed from years of erosion continuing until this day.
Fondest memory: On my first pass through South Dakota in 1994:
We had a long drive from Colorado which was made longer by a tire blowout. We enjoyed the prairie dogs as we put on the doughnut spare, but had to drive way out of our way to get a new tire. The old one was totally shot. The drive up through Custer State Park was magnificent with wild buffalo everywhere, but I had neglected to fill up the gas tank and we were precariously low on fuel. So, couldn't really stop to enjoy it as much as we should have. With the tire ordeal, it was late anyway. We didn't get to the Cedar Pass Campground at Badlands until midnight, starving and exhausted. We hastily set up the tent and ate something equally fast. It was a clear dry night, so we slept with the fly off the tent and its mesh ceiling afforded the most unbelievable views of a meteor shower we were blessed with. As tired as we were, we couldn't sleep. It was magical. We eventually passed out with smiles on our faces. Sometimes things that don't work out as planned, work out just fine.
Updated Dec 28, 2009
Favorite thing: The drive on Highway 85A through Custer State Park to Mount Rushmore. Stop at the Custer State Game Lodge for lunch. And don't miss the buffalo in the park! Along the way on 85A you'll cross pig-tail bridges made from huge pine logs and drive through tunnels that were carefully planned to frame the Four Faces. You may see some wildlife, too, usually bison but often deer or antelope, a.k.a. wapiti as well.
Fondest memory: The people. I grew up in South Dakota, but have lived away from it for years. What I notice most when I return is how helpful people are there, quite unlike urbanized America. This alone makes the state worth visiting.
Updated Jan 4, 2003
Favorite thing: visit Custer State Park. It is the place where they made the film Dances With Wolves. You will feel like you are back in time, when the buffalo roamed the flats of northern america.
More info: South Dakota State Parks:
Updated Oct 27, 2002
Favorite thing: Wall Drug. Wall,SD. Five blocks of stuff. All of it for the tourists. After you have seen all the stuff. Go south out of town, and visit the Bad Lands. That is the western end of it but if that is all you get to see it is worth it. A ticket is for a car load and is good for a week. So if you come back from Rapid City, drive the rest of the Park for free the same week.
Fondest memory: Open spaces, not too many people, no polution,
Updated Sep 5, 2002
Favorite thing: I really enjoyed the Black Hills...it was very nice driving through the area! We stopped in Deadwood as well. Very unique little town with a lot of history. There's a musuem there in the center of town that is very interesting to visit. Lots of things on Wild Bill Hitchcock, as well as other interesting historical items.
Written Sep 12, 2002
Favorite thing: Personally, I found Rapid City much more enjoyable than Sioux Falls. Though SF has much more in the way of commercial industry, Rapid City definitely has much more in the way of character. You can almost feel the presence of the settlers as they searched out a place to rest on their way across American, searching for gold. The Old West has left its imprint on Rapid City, as well as an ever-present Native American influence. The two are parallel; joined by a shared history, yet never touching.
To get a flavor of the area, visit the Alex Johnson hotel on 5th and Saint Joseph's Street. It's the oldest hotel in town and has a long, prestigious history. It's plop in the middle of Rapid City, near all the shops and restaurants, about a 20 minute drive from Mt. Rushmore. Even if you don't stay at the Alex Johnson, visit the vestibule area full of Indian artifacts, and bursting with information on the history of Rapid City.
Also in Rapid, shop at the Prairie Edge on 5th and Main. Spend hours searching through Tribal beadwork, ritual materials, traditional Native clothing, paintings, ceramics, rugs, books, music, incense, etc. The shop is two levels and includes an expansive gallery displaying works of local artists. There is always something incredible on display. Local Kat Deuter is a Lakhota artist who does especially beautiful and delicate paintings of Native American children which are very popular in town.
Fondest memory: What I love most about South Dakota is the sky. In the three years I lived there, I never tired of the expanse of blue from horizon to horizon. Admittedly, upon arrival, I found myself actually intimidated by it's size; a city girl at heart! But after returning to the city from South Dakota, I found myself suffocated by large buildings, and even trees! The sight of the prairie touching the sky, grasses gently blowing in the breeze, fills me with calm and a sense of connectedness. It's like you can't be touched by outside forces when you are in South Dakota; you are protected by that amazing sky.
A Must-Add: My son was born in Rapid City, so I have a particular fondness for it. In fact, I went into labor in the Journey Museum and had to rush to the hospital from there (thanks to my friends at Rapid City Regional Hospital!).
The Journey Museum has been a huge undertaking for the city and I will address it more in the section on Museums : )
Written Aug 25, 2002
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