Mount Rushmore National Memorial
The four figures of former U.S. Presidents carved in stone on Mount Rushmore represent the first 150 years of American history. The birth of this nation was guided by the vision and courage of these presidents, who laid a foundation for this nation as solid as the rock from which their figures are carved. Today millions of visitors come to see Mount Rushmore and gain inspiration from these four great men.
Climbing any part of Mount Rushmore, including the rock slope, is prohibited. There are many climbing opportunities at the memorial on other rock formations. A climbing brochure is available in the Information Center and Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center.
The Presidential Trail is a half-mile loop trail begins on the Grand View Terrace, takes you to the base of the mountain, past the Sculptor's Studio and back. A short nature trail offers a glimpse at some of the natural resources found in the park and connects the Borglum View Terrace to the parking area.
The Information Center & Bookstore at the park entrance offers park orientation and information on ranger-led programs, the Junior Ranger Program and other activities in the Black Hills.
The Avenue of Flags, leading toward the monument along the main walkway, displays the 56 flags of the states, districts, commonwealths and territories of the U.S.
The Grand View Terrace, located at the end of the main walkway, is the primary viewing area to get a photograph of the mountain carving.
The Kids' Exploration Area, located off the Grand View Terrace, offers hands-on exploration and focuses on aspects of the natural and cultural resources of the Black Hills.
Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, Museum, Theaters & Bookstore is located below the Grand View Terrace and offers interactive museum exhibits, a film and an information desk staffed by park rangers.
The Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Heritage Village offers an opportunity to explore the traditions, stories and languages of American Indians from the region.
The Sculptor's Studio & Bookstore, a historic building, was the second on-site studio for sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Borglum's original model and many of the tools he used are on display. Summer ranger-led programs are held here. The Borglum View Terrace offers space for a sculptor in residence and the site of Borglum's first studio.
Ranger Walk (30 minutes) Walk with a park ranger along the first half of the Presidential Trail to the base of the mountain carving. The ranger will highlight the natural and cultural history of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills. This fully-accessible walk begins at the Grand View Terrace. Programs are offered frequently each day throughout the summer months. (Schedule will be posted at the Information Center and Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center).
Sculptor's Studio Talk (15 minutes) Learn about the tools and techniques used in the carving of the mountain sculpture. Talks include stories from the workers, demonstrations of the tools and the artist's working model. Programs are offered frequently each day throughout the summer months. (Schedule will be posted at the Information Center, Studio and Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center).
Evening Program (45 minutes) (Weather Permitting) Join a park ranger in the park's outdoor Amphitheater for an inspirational program focusing on the presidents, patriotism and the nation's history. Beginning with a ranger talk, this program continues with a film and culminates in the lighting of the memorial.
Audio Tour The Mount Rushmore Audio Tour is a recorded guide incorporating narration, music, interviews, sound effects and historic recordings. This self-guided tour is available at the Information Center and at the Audio Tour building (during the summer season) in English, German, Lakota and Spanish. For rental information and pricing visit http://www.mtrushmorebookstore.com/26/Audio_Tour.htm.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is home to a large variety of wildlife, some of which you may encounter during your visit. Mule deer are commonly seen near Mount Rushmore. Yellow-bellied marmots can be seen along the Presidential Trail during the summer as they feed on grasses, broad-leaved plants and seeds. Red squirrels and chipmunks are also extremely common. Mountain goats also reside around Mount Rushmore.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial facilities are open seven days a week year-round, except for December 25.
The Mount Rushmore Society is a fund-raising organization that operates the Mount Rushmore Bookstores, Mount Rushmore Audio Tour and the Mount Rushmore Institute. The Society also operates the parking facility at Mount Rushmore under a concessions contract with the National Park Service.(605) 341-8883
Xanterra Parks & Resorts operates Carvers Café and the Gift Shop at Mount Rushmore. With seating for 300, Carvers Café offers visitors a delicious array of food selections, served with a commanding view of the presidential sculptures. The food-court style café offers visitors multiple food stations with exhibition kitchens. The gift shop features specialty items including handmade Native American pottery and artwork, Mount Rushmore apparel, books and DVDs, sandstone Mount Rushmore replicas and beautifully hand-crafted Black Hills Gold jewelry -- a tradition since 1878.(605) 574-2515
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.
Rapid City Regional Airport: 35 miles to the memorial from Rapid City Regional Airport.
Rental cars or private tour companies can bring visitors to the memorial from Rapid City, SD. Personal vehicles are the most common form of transportation. No public transportation options exist.