Exploring The Faces
Have you booked your accommodations to visit the Black Hills of South Dakota and now are asking yourself, what are the must see attractions for you and your family? For starters….we recommend Mount Rushmore. There is more to do than just capturing the requisite photo of the four famous faces. It would be easy to spend 2-4 hours or more exploring Mount Rushmore.
Parking & Admission
Parking Fee: $10 A parking ticket entitles a non-commercial vehicle unlimited entry to the memorial for one year from the date of purchase.
Active-duty Military: Free
Entrance Fee: NONE
The Black Hills is home to the United States’ national treasure - Mount Rushmore. Gutzon Borglum chose to commemorate America’s first 150 years as a free country with his granite carving of four of our presidents. He believed these four men represented the most important events of our history. In his words, he chose them to “Commemorate the founding, growth, preservation, and development to the United States of America.”
The following is a short summary of the things you can do at Mount Rushmore.
Stroll the Avenue of Flags and the Grand View Terrace
The Avenue of Flags is the main thoroughfare leading to the Grand View Terrace which is the quintessential viewing and photograph area of the monument. You can locate your state flag as well as all 50 states and territories. They are situated in alphabetical order with state name, district, territory and commonwealth. They also indicate when each state was admitted and recognized as a state in the United States. Once you reach the Grand View Terrace you can take advantage of the free telescopes to view the faces.
The Borglum Visitor Center
The Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, Museum and Bookstore is located underneath the Grand View Terrace. Taking part in the interactive museum, the 15 minute short film and all this museum has to offer will give anyone an appreciation of our country’s history and understanding for its creation.
Walk the Presidential Trail
This is a half mile observation trail beginning at the Grand View Terrace. It is suitable for those with wheelchairs and strollers.
Free summer ranger-led tours and guided walks are held each day - check the Mount Rushmore website for times and locations.
Ranger Talks or Walks (30 minutes) Free
Sculptor's Studio Talk (15 minutes) Free
Evening Program (45 minutes - weather permitting) Free
Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Heritage Village (10 - 30 minutes) Free
Youth Exploration Area (10 - 30 minutes) Free
Self-Guided Tour (30 - 120 minutes) Rental Fee
You can grab something to eat at Carver’s Marketplace or enjoy some ice cream based on Thomas Jefferson’s original recipe at Memorial Team Ice Cream Station. And if you are looking for that perfect souvenir head over to the gift shop.
The lighting ceremony held between May-September at 9p.m. is highly recommended - it is approximately 45 minutes and does not require reservations and like everything else at Mt. Rushmore, it is free.
Mt. Rushmore is definitely an awe inspiring sculpture and well worth the time spent exploring the area, the museum and everything the national park has to offer. There is so much this national monument has to offer, so please take the time to get on their website and find out what they have to offer as well as dates, times and locations for planning your visit to the four famous faces.