An extremely impressive piece of work in a beautiful environment
Loads of people and be patient in the parking lots
The grandest sculpture in America hands down!
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 ridermore
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,...more
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.more
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.more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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....more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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....more
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,...more
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...more
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.
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.
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!more
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.more
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,...more
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 -...more
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...more
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...more