Location: 13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751
Designation: National Memorial
Date NPS designation declared: 3/03/1925
Date of my visit: 7/28/2009
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Happy President’s Day! In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d drag this oldie-but-goodie out of my archives. Mount Rushmore is a 60 foot sculpture of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln carved into the Black Hills of South Dakota. The site was established in 1925 but construction was not completed until 1941. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed and oversaw the construction of the memorial. His son Lincoln took over for him in the final year of the project, after the elder Borglum died.
This is one of those parks that you need to get to as soon as they open, especially if you visit in the busy summer months. It’s very crowded. I was traveling with extended family through South Dakota and our kids were little at the time, more interested in climbing rocks than learning about this giant outdoor sculpture. We walked the presidential trail, which is less than a mile, but with many steps to get a closer look at the sculpture. We visited the sculptor’s studio and may have watched the film in the visitor’s center…I really can’t remember. We attended a talk with a ranger who was also a Lakota Sioux and offered the Native American perspective on the history of the area. But the kids were getting antsy at this point, so we moved on to the next stop of the day’s itinerary.
We later visited the Crazy Horse Memorial, not far from Mount Rushmore, where we actually gained a better understanding of what it took to create Mount Rushmore back in the days of dynamite and hand chisels. Construction on this monument to the Sioux Chief began in 1948 and has been conducted by multiple generations of the same family. Being privately funded, the work is slow, the project is the largest mountain sculpture in the world and will probably not be finished in my lifetime. The tour and the visitor’s center are well done and a must see if you’ve come all the way to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore.
11 thoughts on “Mount Rushmore National Memorial”
When in the area, it is also nice to drive through Custer State Park where one can see Mt. Rushmore framed by a tunnel through a hill as well as spectacular rock formations.
Yes we did spend a day in Custer SP as well 🙂 We actually stayed in the town of Custer while exploring the area.
I was so excited to visit Mt. Rushmore when I was a kid. After all that waiting, we finally get there, walk the small trail and… it’s too foggy. Couldn’t see a thing 🙁 lol
Oh how awful! We were lucky to have blue skies for our whole trip
Good post. We hope to visit here this fall.
“Crazy Horse” should be awesome when completed. Thanx for sharing.
Yes its will be, but I think it will not be completed in my lifetime. I would like to go back in a few years to see how far they’ve gotten.
I grew up in Rapid City SD and last summer got the chance to take my kids back to the Black Hills. There has been alot of changes to the monument since the 80’s and 90’s. The old lodge building is gone, but the site is still awesome. Great Pics.
Thanks! I’d love to get back there one of these days…this was 8 years ago. I’m sure a lot has changed since then and there a lot of places we didn’t see on that 2009 trip
Wiki Loves Monuments is soliciting photos like this. I provide the details in this week’s post.
Interesting! I have a feeling these wouldn’t be of sufficient quality. Back in 2009 I had a point and shoot…maybe 2mp.