Mount Rushmore memorializes the birth, growth, preservation
and development of the
United States of America. Between 1927 and 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the 60-foot busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln to represent the first 150 years of American history. Visitors to the memorial come primarily to view the granite sculpture itself, but also of interest is the Sculptor's Studio built under the direction of the artist, Gutzon Borglum, in 1939. Unique plaster models and tools related to the sculpting process are displayed there.
Within the past 10 years, the park has tried to catch up with the times and has created a new visitor center and upgraded the facilities available to visitors.
The memorial serves as home to many animals and plants representative of the Black Hills of South Dakota. The geologic formations of the heart of the Black Hills region are also evident at Mount Rushmore, including large outcrops of granite and mica schist.
This is a good side trip when in the Badlands/Black Hills
area of South Dakota, and certainly deserves a trip to see it. There isnt
however, that much to do except the visitor center and looking at the
mountain side, so dont plan on spending more than a couple hours here...
Also it does tend to get a bit crowded during the summer months.
Basic Information for Mount Rushmore National
Operating Hours, Seasons
Open Year Ro und
How to Get to Mount Rushmore National Park
PLANE - Rapid City Airport is roughly 35 miles away
CAR - Visitors traveling on I-90 should exit at Rapid City
and follow Highway 16 southwest to Keystone and then Highway 244 to Mount
Rushmore. Visitors coming from the south should follow Highway 385 north
to Highway 244, which is the road leading to the memorial.
Weather & Climate
Warm days and cool nights are common in the summer, but July and August are typically hot. Moderate temperatures usually prevail in the winter months with some below zero temperatures. Afternoon thunderstorms in the summer may bring damaging hail and on occasion fog will obscure any view of the memorial. Snow may fall as early as September and may last until mid-May. Layered clothing is recommended along with comfortable walking shoes.
All facilities at Mount Rushmore National Memorial are accessible for the mobility impaired. Closed captioning of all films is provided. Braille and large-print copies of park brochure are available upon request.
Camping at Mount Rushmore National Park
No Camping within the Park
Activities and More Information
Mount Rushmore National Memorial provides self-guided and ranger-guided opportunites for you to explore the history, art and science of this mountain sculpture and it's setting.
"The Shrine", a short film shown at the Lincoln Borglum Museum, provides an introduction to the memorial. While there, visit our new exhibit hall, completed in 1998. Inside you will find interactive exhibits through which you can discover more about the men and the methods used to create Mount Rushmore.
The sculpture on Mount Rushmore is illuminated nightly year-round.
During the summer months, a sculpture lighting program is held in the
park's amphitheater each night at 9 p.m. (program begins at 8 p.m. in
September). The 30-minute program consists of a short ranger talk, a film
about the four presidents on the mountain, the playing of the National
Anthem and the lighting of the sculpture.
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