Mount Rushmore National Memorial Travel Guide

  • Roosevelt at Mt. Rushmore
    Roosevelt at Mt. Rushmore
    by atufft
  • Jefferson at Mt Rushmore
    Jefferson at Mt Rushmore
    by atufft
  • Lincoln and Washington at Mt Rushmore
    Lincoln and Washington at Mt Rushmore
    by atufft

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Highlights

  • Pro
    Bwana_Brown profile photo

    Bwana_Brown says…

     An extremely impressive piece of work in a beautiful environment 

  • Con
    Yaqui profile photo

    Yaqui says…

     Loads of people and be patient in the parking lots 

  • In a nutshell
    mrclay2000 profile photo

    mrclay2000 says…

     The grandest sculpture in America hands down! 

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Things to Do

  • Crazy horse Memorial

    Located in the Black Hills in South Dakota, this statue represents the Lakota warrior Crazy Horse.Started in 1948, the statue is 171m high.Regular family admission fees$10 – Adults – Under 6-years of age – FREE$27 – Carload (whichever is better for you)Motorcycles$5 a rider

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  • Indian Museum of North America

    Superb museum, offering a collection of art and objects reflecting the diverse histories cand cultures of the American Indian people.

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  • The Shrine of Democracy

    In 1948, we went through the Badlands (camped overnight), and visited Mt Rushmore and Pierre South Dakota on our way west. The whole completed monument was very new when we saw it and perhaps was not even finished.In those days, tourism was in its infancy and the 2,500 seat amphitheater, interpretive center and theaters, scenic hiking trail,...

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  • Sculptor's Workshop--Wenches and Other...

    Heavy equipment was needed to do this work, as well as some 400 workers in addition to the artist. Dynamite was used for some work, but a lot was with jackhammers. The workshop is also a small gift shop, although I recommend walking back up to the main gift shop before purchasing here.

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  • Sculptor's Workshop--Plaster Molds

    At the lowest end of the Presidential Trail, just prior to the steep stone stairs back up to the parking lot level, is the series of buildings that showcase the plaster molds and tools of the sculptor. Here, the original model shows a more ambitious project that was never realized.

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  • Presidential Trail, Part 5--Trail Itself

    Here are a number of images of the trail, which preserves the Black Hills ecosystem, a difficult thing to do since some pine forests in the area appear to be dying due to a beetle infestation. At the time I was there, signs warned visitors to not touch the trees--they had recently been sprayed. The last photo here shows the old stone stairs used at...

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  • Grand View Terrace and Amphitheater

    The Grand View Terrace is a popular place to mix tourist portrait with presidential sculpture. The only problem is that the mountain is very much higher than the heads of the subject. I asked another tourist to shoot myself and my wife, but his composition showed our feet and precious little of our smiles, all in an effort to include the presidents...

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  • Presidential Trail, Part 4--Views of...

    Roosevelt was the president most responsible of initiating a strong program of land preservation that ultimately led to the national park system in place today. Roosevelt was also an icon of American nationalism and rising world power for having dispatched the first US naval fleet to circumnavigate the globe. Roosevelt more or less closed out the...

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  • Presidential Trail, Part 3--Views of...

    The least well represented portrait in my view is that of Jefferson, which lacks life and doesn't really resemble the 3rd president very closely. Veins in the rock strata interfere with the facial details a bit. Nevertheless, Jefferson was a good choice for Mt Rushmore as brilliant author of the Declaration of Independence. That Jefferson is...

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  • Presidential Trail, Part 2--Views of...

    The Presidential Trail seems to be organized by perceived statue of the presidents. So Washington figures first, but stops for views of Lincoln come next. Adjacent to Lincoln is another butte, for potential future bust building. An interesting aspect of the Lincoln portrait is how the sculptor left the original butte more or less as is to serve as...

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  • Presidential Trail, Part 1--Views of...

    There's a short hiking trail that offers a variety of views of the sculpted faces of the founding fathers, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. The trail has wheelchair access about half the way, then the other half is a series of rather steep Trex decked staircases. The first view stops emphasize the portrait of Washington. Note that adjacent to...

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  • Avenue of the Flags

    The original stone stairway and view spot, which are still in use as part of the Presidential Trail, were replaced as the main entrance by a rather impressive new granite entrance that includes the Avenue of the Flags, that ultimately that leads to the Grandview Terrace and amphitheater. This renovation was completed in 1998. The Avenue of the...

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  • Lincoln Borglum Museum

    Make sure you take the time to wonder around and check out the book store which houses the museum. It has some wonderful historical artifacts on display and the story behind the sculptor.LocationLocated at the entrance to the memorial from the parking structure.Open All Year (7-days a week)April 29th - May 12th 8:00am - 7:00pmMay 13th - August 14th...

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  • Side Trip to Custer State Park

    Custer State Park is comprised of 71,000 acres jsut south of the Black Hills. Custer SP is known for its 1,500 buffalo, hiking trails, fishing, scenic drives, and unsoiled wilderness. This is South Dakota's largest state park.From May through October, entrance is $5 per person while it costs just $2.50 per person the rest of the year. Annual...

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  • check out those crazy carvings

    Though I am not a huge fan of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, I can appreciate how much work went into making this grandiose carving a reality. First, they had to get the concept passed by Congress and that was no easy feet in 1927. Coming up with the money to do to was another tough task, especially right in the midst of The Great Depression....

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial Restaurants

  • Excellent place for lunch in Keystone

    Excellent place for lunch with the family. We had the Great American Reuben and Nathan's hot dogs, and they were all very delicious.

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  • A nice change for breakfast

    On the morning of our final day in Hill City, we were up and packed for the 10-hour drive north to Regina, Saskatchewan so early (6:40 AM) that the Best Western hotel restaurant was not yet open. So, we set off anyway - taking the highway east into Rapid City as we made for Interstate Highway 90 by the most direct route.By the time we made it to...

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  • Nothing spectacular, but it did the...

    The Golden Spike Best Western hotel had a large restaurant area attached to the lobby, set up with booths, tables and chairs for either buffet-style dining or regular menu choices. The only 'fast-food' joint we saw in Hill City was a small and narrow Dairy Queen squeezed between the major tourist stores lining the downtown streets - so it was...

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial Transportation

  • Parking at Mt Rushmore Memorial

    Parking is the only entrance fee. Pedestrians willing to walk up the 8% grade roadway from the town of Keystone can get in for free. Parking for Cars in the multi-level parking structuree is $6-. RVs pay $11 and park where directed by park personnel driving golf carts. Commercial trucks can bobtail in at the RV rate. I didn't determine where...

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  • not part of America The Beautiful I...

    Mount Rushmore is fairly remote and not serviced by mass transit It is in the central western part of South Dakota. It's more the area around the Monument that truly make it worth the visit and getting around will be easiest in your own vehicle. Typical distances: Mount Rushmore National Memorial to Badlands National Park-100 miles or 2 hours....

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  • Traffic & Parking

    Traffic at the time was not bad except for those who stopping in the roadway to take pictures. So traffic was not congested at all. They do say that traffic can be heaviest in the middle of the day.Yet, the biggest headache is the obvious traffic back-ups occur at the parking garage. There is a huge volume of vehicles passing through the gates,...

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial Shopping

  • Bookstore and much more

    What would a visit be if you didn't checkout the bookstore to see what it has to offer. Some fabulous material from Calendars to my favorite "postcards" to add to my collection, audio and video CD's, coins, and list goes on. Postcards and I bought a coin

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  • Native crafts help support the project

    I'm not much of a shopper but, as Sue dragged me around the Gift Shop area of the Crazy Horse Memorial, even I was intrigued by the quality and variety of the many Native Indian crafts available for sale. The shopping area was beautifully done up, as seen here, with many paintings hanging on its walls. One particular set of landscapes was very...

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  • Gift Shop of the Presidents

    The Gift shop is leased out by the National park Service. They have everything Touristy. Souviers of South Dakota, the United States and Mt. Rushmore.

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial Warnings and Dangers

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
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    by Yaqui Updated Jun 21, 2007

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    Please watch your speed. The mountain goats roam freely and are a protected member of the park. So if you hit one, guess what. You might be a little bit of trouble. During our visit they were grazing very closely by the roads, which you would not expect them. "So don't be in a hurry and keep it slow!"

    Mountain Goats (Oreamnos Americanus) aren’t really goats. They are members of the antelope family, a group that also includes related species such as Musk Ox and Mountain Sheep. Mountain Goats are descended from goat-antelopes called Goral and Serow. Adult mountain goats are 3-4 feet tall and weigh 150 and 300 lbs. Their 12 in. horns are thin and slightly curved. The average life span is 12 years.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial Tourist Traps

  • paulscuba's Profile Photo

    by paulscuba Written Jul 3, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are two parking areas. The garage and just down the road is a lot. When we were last there the lot was free but they charge for the garage. A national parks pass will not get you a discount on parking since this is a concession operated fee.

    Unique Suggestions: At about 6:00 PM they close the lot(the free portion) so anyone coming for the night lighting of the monument has to pay to view it. So if you have time to kill and want to wander the trails and view the exhibits, park in the lot before 6:00 and wait for the night lighting. The lot is maybe 200 yards of walking to the visitor center. Hopefully it is still free when you read this.

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial Off The Beaten Path

  • Wind Cave National Park

    Wind Cave National Park is close by near Hot Springs, which is worth seeing if you have some extra time. It is one of the longest caves in the world. The cave is notable for its boxwork features. Be sure to wear the right shoes and a jacket (it is always cold inside the cave) during the cave tour, and watch your head!

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  • Dinosaur Park in Rapid City

    A free park in Rapid City with some very big dinosaurs. Good to take a few pictures, see a panoramic view of Rapid City, and visit the gift shop. Buffalo hot dogs are also available for $2.99. Makes for a quick stop on your way to Mount Rushmore. 940 Skyline Drive; off U.S. 16 in downtown Rapid City.

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  • BIG THUNDER GOLD MINE

    In nearby Keystone, we did a gold mine tour of the Big Thunder Gold Mine which was originally named the Gold Hill Lode. The mining work was done by two German immigrants, Krupp and Engle and was formerly called the Krupp Tunnel. They did not know each other when they came to the Keystone area, but because they could both speak the same language,...

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial Favorites

  • Amazing South Dakota Trip

    This is our schedule during our trip to Mouth Rushmore from Minneapolis (start time: 3:30pm friday and returned 7:30pm monday)Day 1 - Sioux fallsDay 2 - Badlands National Park (Beautiful one - badlands are good), Mount Rushmore in night, Crazy horse memorial Day 3 - Mount Rushmore in morning, Bear Country USA Safari in Rapid City, WaldrugDay 4 -...

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  • They paved paradise & put up a parking...

    We had been traveling with the America The Beautiful Pass for nearly six months and it had gotten us into about 25 National Parks and Federally Administered Land, no problem. It cost $80 and was good for a year at all of them, for a whole carload of people. Being on a budget, we loved this pass. The catch is it's for admission to the parks and...

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  • Joni gets into my brain

    There's surely more to this park than the carvings of the presidents that make if famous but I have not spent enough time here to discover it. Maybe one day I will but my guess is there are a lot of other parks of more interest to me. If I ever return it will be for the evening lighting ceremony but even that will be clouded by the history of how...

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Explore Deeper into Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Crazy Horse - take the bus for a closer view
Off The Beaten Path
Mt. Rushmore Memorial Park
Things to Do
Presidential Trail and Grounds
Favorites
Monumental Monument
Things to Do
Fascinating Photo Op
Favorites
Take Pictures
Things to Do
Avenue of Flags
Favorites
See Peeking George?
Things to Do
Amphitheater View:-)
Off The Beaten Path
Stay in the Black Hills themselves
Things to Do
How it was tackled
Off The Beaten Path
Just who was this Crazy Horse?
Off The Beaten Path
Binoculars or a telephoto lens will come in handy!
Things to Do
An 1880's-style steam locomotive ride
Things to Do
Get up-close to the rubble from the sculpting
Things to Do
The Avenue of Flags leads you onward
Things to Do
Museum, Gift Shop & Restaurant area
Off The Beaten Path
This Memorial is already amazing!
Off The Beaten Path
A tour bus will get you closer
Off The Beaten Path
First view of the Crazy Horse Memorial
Off The Beaten Path
Both ends of the line
Things to Do
Maybe check out the Museum before proceeding?
Things to Do
Entering the Mount Rushmore complex
Things to Do
Take a hike and enjoy the trees too
Things to Do
The hike itself is quite scenic!
Things to Do
The 'unassisted' view from the observation area
Things to Do
Scale models used for creating the sculptures
Things to Do
Highway 244 into Rushmore is a spectacular drive
Things to Do
Best thing to do in Mt. Rushmore area.
Things to Do
Getting there and parking
Transportation
The Black Hills
Things to Do
The Walk of the Presidents
Things to Do
Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway
Off The Beaten Path
If its foggy...
Things to Do
Mount Rushmore
Things to Do
George, Tom, and Teddy
Things to Do
Jewel Cave
Off The Beaten Path
The parks and forest around Mt. Rushmore
Things to Do
Visit the Badlands
Off The Beaten Path
Side trip to Ellsworth Air Force Base
Things to Do
Map of Mount Rushmore National Memorial

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