Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

Mount Rushmore memorializes George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln in 60 foot mountain sculpture. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed and oversaw the construction of the memorial.

The US established the site in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1925 but construction was not completed until 1941. Workers executed the design with dynamite and hand chisels, so it was slow work. Lincoln Borglum took over in the final year of the project, after the elder Borglum died.

Try to arrive as soon as the Mount Rushmore opens, especially if you visit in the busy summer months. It’s very crowded. We walked the presidential trail as soon as we got there and avoided most of the throngs. The trail is less than a mile, with many stairs, and affords a closer look at the sculpture.

We visited the sculptor’s studio and then attended a talk with a ranger. The ranger was a Lakota Sioux and offered the Native American perspective on the history of the area. Fortunately, we visited Crazy Horse Memorial afterwards and learned more about the conflict between the Sioux and Mount Rushmore.

Location: 13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751
Designation: National Memorial
Date designated/established: March 3, 1925
Date of my visit: July 28, 2009

16 thoughts on “Mount Rushmore National Memorial

  1. Mount Rushmore is truly impressive and your advice to get there early – right before the park opens is well taken to get the best view. Also, visiting the Crazy Horse Memorial afterwards is good advice and it’s well worth the time.

  2. That is amazing. If ever I get to the US, I will definitely have this on my list to visit. While I am sure it could be considered ‘just another tourist attraction’, I love that someone had the idea and vision to create it in the first place. Thanks for the inspiration, Mel

  3. Was the ranger Gerard Baker? If so, he had a prominent role in Ken Burns’ National Parks doc. Also, it’s interesting to think whether this monument would be allowed to be built in this day and age. Not very “leave no trace” if you get me. Glad we have it though.

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