Like many Americans, I prospered up knowing about “the hill with faces,” but not lot else. I absolutely never thought that sooner or later I’d it is in visiting mountain Rushmore or enjoying it as much as i did! quite frankly, the Presidents on mountain Rushmore blew me away! They are infinitely larger than ns expected and also the whole Mount Rushmore nationwide Memorial is truly a masterpiece. Today, about three million civilization visit mountain Rushmore each year and it remains one of America’s most renowned attractions. Hopefully this overview will aid answer all of your inquiries while planning your trip to mount Rushmore.

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Visiting mountain Rushmore


Photos taken in this short article by David M Gallo Photography. This page contains affiliate links, meaning that The 5 Foot Traveler may receive a little commission once you purchase any type of flights or accommodations utilizing the links in this article in ~ no extra expense to you. I appreciate your continued support!


Where is mountain Rushmore Located?

When I first thought come myself, “What State is mountain Rushmore in,” ns realized… I had actually no idea. I knew about the mount Rushmore faces, yet never thought about it further. Needless to say, I took to googling the mountain Rushmore location and discovered that Mount Rushmore is situated in Keystone, southern Dakota. When this seemingly seems in the middle of nowhere, mountain Rushmore is set in the stunning black Hill an ar and is an extremely easily accessible. 

The closestly airport to mount Rushmore is the rapid City local Airport (RAP), i m sorry serves direct flights indigenous 11 various destinations and 4 airlines. While that a smaller sized airport in the united States, it’s an ext than likely that you will have a layover en route to rapid City; we had a layover in Chicago once we flew on a United-operated trip from brand-new York. I recommend exploring your flight choices here

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Fly into the closest airport to mount Rushmore: rapid City local Airport

If flying isn’t her thing, take a roadway trip! when it was a little too far for united state to drive from brand-new York given our easily accessible time frame, it’s certainly an option that many civilization take. Just be warned: prepare you yourself for countless corn fields and also long drives. Fairly than driving native home, us rented a car in fast City to begin a road trip through south Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. Have a look in ~ rental car options here. 


Where come Sleep?

You have actually so many options when it comes to Mount Rushmore lodging! Keystone is a at sight cute, western-style town just minutes indigenous the Rushmore Presidents. Personally i loved Keystone, and also if you visiting south Dakota just to view the four presidents on mount Rushmore, climate Keystone would certainly be your best pick! Search all accommodations in Keystone here.

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Mount Rushmore hotels & Lodging – Keystone, southern Dakota

If you’re like me though and additionally want to visit the Badlands in southern Dakota, while also visiting mount Rushmore, then I highly recommend remaining in rapid City. Rapid City is minutes away from the airport, half an hour from mountain Rushmore, and one hour from Badlands national Park. It’s additionally only half an hour indigenous Custer State Park — my personal favorite covert gem in southern Dakota! Unlike many of the tourist towns instantly surrounding the nationwide Parks, you can find absolutely everything you require in rapid City should you have forgotten something (psssst… if you’ve review my “137 travel Essentials” article, you’ll be fine prepared!). Search accommodations in quick City here.


Who room the Presidents on mountain Rushmore?

If you didn’t recognize who is on mountain Rushmore, now is your chance! indigenous left to right, the presidents of mount Rushmore are…

George WashingtonThomas JeffersonTheodore RooseveltAbraham Lincoln

The mastermind behind mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, believed that these four presidents stood for the most pivotal events in the background of the unified States. Washington for leading the colonists in the Revolutionary War, Jefferson for creating the explanation of Independence, Roosevelt because that the creation of the joined States woodland Service, and Lincoln for keeping the Union throughout the polite War. Together, the four Presidents on mountain Rushmore stand for the birth of the joined States, the development of the united States, the advance of the united States, and the preservation of the joined States. 

Who are the Presidents on mount Rushmore?

450,000 loads of rock were gotten rid of in order come sculpt the presidents on mountain Rushmore and, follow to the nationwide Parks Service, the heads are around 60 feet tall (18 meters), while every of the eyes space 11 feet broad (3.4 meters) and each mouth is 18 feet vast (5.5 meters). Yet, even still, the memorial was not completed together envisioned. Borglum initially designed each president to be presented from the waist up, however unfortunately a absence of federal government funds shut down the project once the mount Rushmore encounters were completed. 

…But What around Susan B. Anthony?!

Yep, you heard that right. I learned such a cool fact when visiting mountain Rushmore: in the 1930s, a bill was presented to congress to include a carving the Susan B. Anthony on mountain Rushmore. Unfortunately, the bill wasn’t passed because the federal funds to be only enabled to be invested on the carvings already underway. Such a shame! that would have actually been impressive to check out Susan B. Anthony on mountain Rushmore as the primary force behind the women’s suffrage movement in the joined States.

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Mount Rushmore History

Growing up, we never ever actually learned about the idea behind the Presidents of mount Rushmore. So, firstly, when was mount Rushmore built? Construction started in 1927, however it wasn’t completed till 1941; it took practically exactly fourteen years to the date. Personally, I’d always thought that it to be older. 

Believe the or not, the idea first came around to promote tourism to the black color Hills in the 1920s — that would have thought that carving the faces of famous world into a mountain would, in fact, continue to do specifically that a century later?!

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Mount Rushmore History

Here is whereby it gets exciting though. Did you understand that 90% of mountain Rushmore was carved using dynamite? Or the over 400 men and women were connected in the make of the memorial? Or that, despite the continuous use the dynamite, no one died during the construction? It’s quite fascinating in reality and, if interested, ns recommend analysis the carving background of mountain Rushmore ~ above the official nationwide Parks company website here. 

Entrance Fees at mount Rushmore

There is no entrance fee to access Mount Rushmore, however, over there is a parking fee. It expenses $10 every vehicle, or $5 per vehicle for Seniors, and it’s cost-free for energetic Duty Military. As Mount Rushmore is a national Memorial, not a national Park, those v an annual parks pass will still need to pay come park at the mountain Rushmore nationwide Memorial. This nominal fees assist offset the cost of maintenance within the Memorial. 


Where to get Iconic views of mountain Rushmore

1. The Amphitheater

The Amphitheater is may be the many iconic see of the 4 presidents on mount Rushmore. Yes sir a grand promenade that provides you through a face-on view of the presidents (see what ns did there?!). It’s important spectacular. Regrettably – at the time of posting – the amphitheater is inaccessible together it’s being renovated. While we were originally bummed, we simply moved down the patio slightly and found perfectly unobstructed views; we perform not feel together if us missed out by not being able come walk the entire promenade to the amphitheater. 

The Amphitheater – expedition to mount Rushmore

2. The Presidents Trail

The Presidents Trails is unique in the it brings you best up come the “mountain v presidents faces” that we all know. However it bring you for this reason close that you’re pretty much looking right up your noses. Having the capability to get close enough to see Teddy’s pince nez (think: bifocals) and the optimal of Washington’s jacket provides one the ability completely to appreciate the craftsmanship the the designer and also the carvers.

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The Presidents follow – four Presidents on mount Rushmore

Unlike the Amphitheater, the Presidents trace is far an ext interactive; you’ll discover informational plaques around each president, in addition to the Sculptor’s Workshop and Studio. Within, you will find the original design for the sculptures (including where Borglum originally wanted to ar Lincoln’s head), and a bosun chair, i beg your pardon is what the workers sat in while functioning on the facade the the memorial. 

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Inside the Workshop at mountain Rushmore nationwide Memorial

3. The Norbeck skip (Highway 16A)

If girlfriend don’t feeling like gaining up nearby and an individual with the presidents and would quite view them indigenous afar, do your way along Highway 16A come the Norbeck Overlook. There, friend will find a panoramic watch overlooking mount Rushmore and also the black Hills of southern Dakota. The Norbeck skipping is a worthwhile avoid on your means to Custer State Park. 

View of mount Rushmore Memorial Park from Norbeck Overlook

Fun Fact: house of Jefferson’s initial Ice Cream Recipe

Did you understand that thomas Jefferson was not only the principal writer of the explanation of Independence, but also of America’s very first ice cream recipe? ns surely didn’t! The mountain Rushmore national Memorial serves ice cream made using Jefferson’s initial recipe. If you’re favor me and feel the require to shot the original ice cream while visiting mount Rushmore, you have the right to grab yourself a scoop or two at the Memorial ice cream Cream Shop on the main Terrace. It’s about $6 because that a cup…but honestly, the cups room one size and absolutely massive. Depending on where you normally acquire ice cream, the cup is the indistinguishable of about 4+ scoops of ice cream! allow me simply say, even if it is the ice cream cream is in reality made using Jefferson’s initial ice cream cooking recipes or not, it was absolutely delicious and the perfect indulgence on a warmth day.

Jefferson"s original Ice Cream cooking recipes – Presidents of mountain Rushmore


Mount Rushmore Map

As I’m certain you’re now extremely excited come visit the Presidents of mount Rushmore, I’ve created a mount Rushmore map to provide you through the exact location and also my favorite viewpoints of the faces.