Mount Rushmore National Memorial
“There is not a monument in this country as big as a snuff box,” said sculptor Gutzon Borglum before setting out to give America a grand memorial. In 1927, he began carving the heads of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt into a granite outcropping atop Mount Rushmore. The project took almost a million dollars, 400 workers, 14 years, and loads of dynamite.
By the time Borglum’s son Lincoln completed the work in 1941, roughly 450,000 tons of rock had been blasted away to create the 60-foot-high faces. Today one of the world’s largest and most recognizable sculptures attracts 3 million visitors annually.
The parking area Information Center has details on each day’s events; you can pick up self-guided audio tours here or in a building across the way. The paved, half-mile Presidential Trail has an exhibit on area Native Americans and takes you beneath the sculpted heads. The Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, directly below the Grand View Terrace, has exhibits and shows the film Mount Rushmore: The Shrine every 20 minutes.
In warmer months, check out the ranger talks in the Sculptor’s Studio or the 45-minute evening program with a ranger presentation, the film Freedom: America’s Lasting Legacy, and the dramatic illumination of the faces to the sound of the National Anthem. There aren’t any picnic or camping facilities, but there is a restaurant, a gift shop, and Mount Rushmore Bookstores.
13000 SD Hwy. 244
- Keystone, South Dakota 57751
- 43.87393500, -103.45361000
- Memorial Grounds: mid-Mar.–Sept. daily 5 am–11 pm; Oct.–mid-Mar. daily 5 am--9 pm. Info and visitor centers: daily 8 am–5, 9, or 10 pm, depending on season.
- Visit Website
- (605) 574-2523