The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is the iconic carving of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln into Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota. The carvings were completed between 1927 and 1941, and were originally designed to increase tourism in the Black Hills region of South Dakota.
Here’s a small sampling of what you can do when you visit Mount Rushmore:
Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center
At the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, visitors can view interactive exhibits that detail the creation of Mount Rushmore. The Visitor Center also shows a short film that further explains the monument's fascinating history.
There are several types of tours available at Mount Rushmore. Ranging from 15 minutes to 2 hours, the most popular tour is a 2 hour self-guided audio tour that takes you around the park.
This 30-minute program, divided into two age groups of 5-12 and 13+, encourages children to learn more about the history of Mount Rushmore. Children participate in learning activities that go along with the exploration of the memorial. Afterwards, children can buy a souvenir badge to proudly denote that they've completed the program from the gift shop.
If you’re looking for something to eat while visiting the memorial, Carver’s Café is the place for you. The café serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.. The café is open from 7:00 am-9:00 pm during spring, summer, and fall; and 8:00 am-4:30 pm during the winter.
Visiting Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Hours for the memorial vary by the time of year: from October 1 through March 19, the hours are 5:00 am-8:00 pm; and from March 20 through September 30, the hours are 5:00 am-11:00 pm. Hours for the visitor’s center and other attractions may vary. The park itself is located 23 miles south of Rapid City on Highway 16, and is most directly accessible by taking Interstate 90 to Highway 16. While the park is free to enter, there is an $11 parking fee.