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Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

The four figures carved in stone on Mount Rushmore represent the first 150 years of American history. The birth of our nation was guided by the vision and courage of George Washington. Thomas Jefferson always had dreams of something bigger, first in the words of the Declaration of Independence and later in the expansion of our nation through the Louisiana Purchase. Preservation of the union was paramount to Abraham Lincoln but a nation where all men were free and equal was destined to be. At the turn of the Twentieth Century Theodore Roosevelt saw that in our nation was the possibility for greatness. Our nation was changing from a rural republic to a world power. The ideals of these presidents laid a foundation for our nation as solid as the rock from which their figures are carved. Each man possessed great skills and leadership of the brand our nation needed for the times.

Today millions of visitors come to see Mount Rushmore and visit the Black Hills, the Black Hills of South Dakota have always held a special meaning. The American Indians have considered these hills sacred for centuries and today Mount Rushmore is considered a sacred place to people from many different cultures and countries. To some it reflects Patriotism; to others it reflects the natural beauty of our nation, to some it represents a great work of art and still to others it presents a challenge for them to begin to share their own cultures. Each visitor to the memorial is able to find within himself his own idea of what it reflects and hold that idea true.

The Black Hills for centuries have been a place of healing and reflection. This belief is still alive today at the memorial where millions of visitors come each year to reflect on their surroundings at Mount Rushmore, the larger than life sculpture, the magnificent Black Hills scenery, and wildlife.

The memorialís future holds limitless possibilities for education, inspiration, unity and healing. Come be a part of it.


Mount Rushmore National Memorial provides self-guided and ranger-guided opportunities for you to explore the history, art and science of this mountain sculpture and its setting.
"The Shrine", a short film shown at the Lincoln Borglum Museum, provides an introduction to the memorial. While there, visit our new exhibit hall, completed in 1998. Inside you will find interactive exhibits through which you can discover more about the men and the methods used to create Mount Rushmore.

A short stroll along the Presidential Trail provides the closest access to the sculpture. Along the way, enjoy more intimate views of the artwork as either a self-guided or ranger-guided walk.

Put yourself in the artist's perspective and view the mountain sculpture and the original model from the very place Gutzon Borglum saw his dream become reality: The Sculptor's Studio.

Ranger-led activities are conducted daily during the summer. Rangers are also available to answer your questions at either the Information Center or Visitor Center throughout the year.

The sculpture on Mount Rushmore is illuminated nightly year-round. During the summer months, a sculpture lighting program is held in the park's amphitheater each night at 9 p.m. (program begins at 8 p.m. in September). The 30-minute program consists of a short ranger talk, a film about the four presidents on the mountain, the playing of the National Anthem and the lighting of the sculpture.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Memorial and visitor services are open all year.
Visitor services are closed December 25.

Badlands National Park ] Bear Butte State Park ] Black Hills National Forest ] Crazy Horse Memorial ] Devils Tower National Monument ] Custer State Park ] Jewel Cave National Monument ] [ Mount Rushmore National Memorial ] Wind Cave National Park ] Scenic Byways - Peter Norbeck ] Scenic Byways - Spearfish Canyon ]

Copyright © 2006 [Vacation South Dakota]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/24/2006