National Parks / Natural World
Mount Rushmore National Memorial Keystone
Where is it at?
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
13000 Hwy 244
Tel: 605 574-2523
Where are we going today?
We KNOW you have all seen images of those iconic faces in the rocks...that's Mount Rushmore National Monument!
Mount Rushmore National Monument is probably the most visited place in South Dakota, and when you get there you will see why! It's impressive! The monument itself is craved by hand and dynamite out of granite and represents the first 150 years of USA history with the heads of four former presidents looking out over you.
Here's a quiz kids - do you know who the presidents are? If you don't know - there's the first great reason to head down there to learn all about the history!
The faces are a mammoth 18m / 60ft in height - can you imagine how long that will have taken to create! Well, lucky for you there is the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center which you should allow some time in, as there not only are exhibits on the history of Mount Rushmore National Monument, but there is also a fascinating 14 minute film that you can watch all about how and why the monument was created!
If you have a little more time, and it is well worth it (and kids will have a great time!) you can actually walk the Presidential Trail, which takes you just over half a mile around the sculpture, so you can really get up close and see all the detail that has gone into making it, AND you might even spot some wildlife!
Of course, there is always a master behind something like this, and Gutzon Borglum was that man in this case! You can visit his studio, and see where he spent a LOT of his time refining his scale model (kids - you can get some inspiration for your next art project!)
Make sure you visit this icon - it's a great family day out!
How much does it cost?
- AdultsMemorial is free, but parking is $11 per vehicle.
- ChildrenSame as adult
When can we go?
5am open. 8pm close Oct to March. 11pm March to Sept.
All year round
If you do want to bring the students down, just give them a call to see what they can help you organize! .
The Carvers Cafe is an option to stop and grab some lunch for the day.
Make sure you bring plenty of bottled water for the day! .
Any Top Tips?
Keep an eye out for the ranger walks and talks! Or you can pay for an audio tour. .
Need a little extra help?
All facilities at Mount Rushmore National Memorial are wheelchair accessible, and there is handicapped parking available. They also have wheelchairs to use free of charge at the info center. .
Can I get one of those?
Of course there is a gift shop! Make sure you stop by to pick up some pretty cool gifts all about this amazing feat of mankind! .
They have lighting ceremonies in the evenings! Try and hang around to check these out! .
What people are saying?
by Caitlin Alekna
What a bold depiction of the incredible feats that man can accomplish. To stand and gaze upon this mountain is quite awe inspiring. On another note, the park itself is less than exciting. I would not suggest planning an entire vacation around this park, rather it be a stop along the way of a more grand tour of the west (Bad Lands, Devil's tower, etc). I would also suggest coming here in the morning, as once the sun moves towards and behind the mountain, it becomes extremely back lit and pictures do not turn out as well as you might like. As an American,...Read More
by Bruce Boggan
The monument was "Spectacular!" Everything I read and saw about the sculpture came full face as I walked up the esplanade. It was truly magnificent! It is well worth the time and effort to go see it in person.
by Jessica G
Impressive. Enjoyed seeing it on the off-season due to less crowds. The cafe has very good food and ice cream!
by KayLynn KAy
This is our 3rd trip with grand kids!! Every time we bring 2 or 3 they all want to come back!! After a walk thru Mt Rushmore with all the history. Letting kids answer questions. Then to keystone. Then a beautiful ride thru custer state park. Making of a wonderful day!! Always take bread to feed the donkeys. You'll laugh until your sick. The kids loved it. A trip every one should take!!
by Ken Gamache
A must see. Several folks told me that Mt Rushmore was Ok, I thought it was very impressive. Make sure you take the short loop trail that goes up towards the statues. It is a nice walk with great views and good interpretive signs describing the presidents and the construction of the monument, this is a must see.
by Caitlin Alekna
What a bold depiction of the incredible feats that man can accomplish. To stand and gaze upon this mountain is quite awe inspiring. On another note, the park itself is less than exciting. I would not suggest planning an entire vacation around this park, rather it be a stop along the way of a more grand tour of the west (Bad Lands, Devil's tower, etc). I would also suggest coming here in the morning, as once the sun moves towards and behind the mountain, it becomes extremely back lit and pictures do not turn out as well as you might like. As an American, a visit to this memorial is a must.