Saturday, March 2, 2019

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, a awe-inspiring blend of history, nature, and art come together at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Completed in 1941, this 60-ft sculpture honoring 4 American presidents, continues to grow in popularity with around 2 million visitors a year.

14 pillars featuring all 50 state flags flank the entrance to this national memorial. After soaking in the view for a bit, head inside the visitor's center to learn more about the sculpture and the men whose likenesses are featured.

Jr. Ranger books and audio tours are available so be sure to grab those right away to make the most of your time. I've found that the Jr Ranger booklets help my boys pay attention and get them actively seeking out information instead of growing bored.

View from the trail

The Sculptor's Studio is worth a visit and the trail is a must do, weather permitting! To recoup your strength, treat yourself to a treat or an ice cream at the Market Place and then be sure to browse the gift shop for a memento.

What you need to know:

Unless you are a true history buff, you can easily visit Mount Rushmore in just a couple of hours. The longest part was the trail. It's less than a mile long but has over 400 steps so it is quite a workout. Sturdy shoes and sturdy legs are a must!

It's $10 to park.

Despite Rushmore being a quick stop, the Black Hills area offers plenty of activities to fill your day. Take the Iron Mountain Road out of the park, then drive through Custer State Park and on to Needles Highway. They'll be lookouts and a visitor's center along the way.

Tunnel on Iron Mountain Road. If you look closely, you can see Mt. Rushmore!
When we visited, we started our morning with breakfast at Wall Drug. We then saw Mt. Rushmore, drove Iron Mt. Rd, wound our way through Custer State Park, zipped along Needles Hwy, and were able to make it to Devil's Tower before it got dark.


Read more about visiting Mt. Rushmore with kids here.

Free printouts for each president here. 

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