This was definitely on our bucket list of places to go. I mean how much more American can you get than Mt Rushmore. It is a monument on a grand scale.
It is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This is the view from the parking structure looking out over the hills. If you have never been here it is spectacular. We traveled through a lot of grasslands to get here but well worth it. There is much more to do and see here than you might expect. Parking is only $10 per car and that is good for up to a year.
From the parking lot you get to the entrance way. Already you start to see that this is much more than just a viewing spot for the monument on the mountainside.
The Avenue of the Flags leads you to the center of the park from which you will have several places to go after you have finished gazing upon a truly majestic sculpture. The flags represent the various states and territories of the USA.
The view from the Grand Terrace is gorgeous. Only nature can outdo this monument. I was a bit surprised to see the pyramid of rubble reaching the base of the heads. It emphasizes just how much work went into the making of it.
From the Grand Terrace there are several directions to explore. There is the Sculpture’s Studio, the Presidential Trail, Gift Store, Book Store, etc.
There is a huge amphitheater below the Grand View Terrace for various program events. Pretty nice view indeed.
A bust of Gutzon Borglum sits on the Grand Terrace. As many know he was the grand architect of this monument. He also played a part in the Crazy Horse monument as one of his assistants would move onto starting that monument nearby.
Along the Presidential Trail there are many photo opportunities. It is always nice when you can trade pictures with other visitors rather than rely on strange looking selfies (see gallery).
As you walk along the Presidential Trail you will get closer to the sculpture. However the view changes dramatically. You get more detail but you start to lose the overall sense of the monument. Still worth the walk to see it a bit closer.
On the return trip from the viewing areas there are a few places to eat as well as the obligatory gift store. I could not resist a T-shirt. We moved on for food though.
I had to add one more view just because it is so great to see. This whole area is a wonder to see. Just remember that it is a tourist area subject to the many tourist cautions. However it is one of the better tourist areas that we have been so far.
For any traveler this is a must see place to go. Not just Mt Rushmore though. The whole area of the Black Hills was a pleasant adventure – one we plan on re-visiting as soon as we can.
For more info about Mt Rushmore check out:
For more info about the Black Hills area check out: