Your Guide to Making the Most of Mount Rushmore | Black Hills Travel Blog

Your Guide to Making the Most of Mount Rushmore

  • Your Guide to Making the Most of Mount Rushmore
    Your Guide to Making the Most of Mount Rushmore
Updated: Friday, July 19, 2019
By : 
Morgan

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is currently undergoing some outstanding upgrades that will elevate visitors’ experiences for generations to come. The memorial will remain open to visitors during construction.

We’ve put together a guide to making the most of Mount Rushmore during this time. You’ll be amazed at all there is to see and do.

The first phase of the deferred maintenance project will address the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, the Grand View Terrace and Avenue of Flags. Please note that these locations will be inaccessible for the remainder of the summer and into next year.

Accessible from the Park Entrance
After parking in the memorial’s parking complex, stop into the Information Center, located just inside the entrance. Park rangers can answer any questions you may have and can give you detailed instructions on how to get closer to the sculpture. Find a book or souvenir at the Mount Rushmore Bookstore, also located in the Information Center.

Across from the Information Center is the Audio Tour Building. Begin the Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Tour: A Living Memorial here, by renting the multimedia hand-held photo/video tour or the audio wand. This award-winning tour transports you back in time as you learn the inspiring story of the carving of Mount Rushmore through narration, music and interviews.

Continue to the beautifully remodeled Gift Shop to hunt for a treasure that will forever remind you of your trip to Mount Rushmore. Find “Made in the USA” souvenirs, sustainable products, local and regional gourmet gifts, clothing, and Black Hills Gold jewelry.

Dine with the presidents at Carvers’ Marketplace, South Dakota’s only 4-Star Certified Green Restaurant. Breakfast, lunch and dinner offer a delicious array of choices, made with locally grown ingredients. The dress is always casual, the setting always relaxed, and the view is, well, monumental. Complete your visit by sampling some of Thomas Jefferson’s original vanilla ice cream recipe from 1780.

Accessible from the Nature Trail
While portions of the memorial are undergoing upgrades, use the Nature Trail to access the Borglum View Terrace, Sculptor’s Studio and the Presidential Trail.

Access the Natural Trail outside of the northeast corner of the park entrance. This short trail connects the parking areas to the Borglum View Terrace and features a glimpse at some of the natural resources found in the park. The Borglum View Terrace provides excellent views of the sculpture.

Visit the newly renovated Sculptor’s Studio—the exact place where Borglum worked from 1939 to 1941. Inside the studio, view the original 1/12 scale model of Mount Rushmore. Rangers present interpretive talks at the studio every half hour. Outside of the studio, view the sculpture from the artist’s original perspective.

From there, you will find the starting point for the Presidential Trail. The 0.6-mile trail with 422 stairs takes you up-close and personal with the mountain sculpture. The concrete and plank walkway meanders through the woods and among blast fragments at the base of the monument, offering the closest viewpoints of the stone faces.

More Viewing Opportunities
Just past the main entrance to Mount Rushmore National Monument on Hwy 44 is the profile turnout. This turnout offers a great profile view of George Washington’s face.

After your visit to Mount Rushmore, you will feel a renewed dedication to our nation and its founding principals of democracy, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

We are so excited about these new upgrades. The enhancement projects will address deferred maintenance and visitor safety and accessibility, all while improving operational and energy efficiency at the memorial. The upgrades are essential to keeping Mount Rushmore National Memorial’s facilities sustainable for years to come. We look forward to having you back!

About the Author

Morgan is the Communications Director at Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association. She grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, where she developed a deep love for the outdoors and adventure. She followed her heart to the mountains and received a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies from the University of Colorado - Boulder. Her inquisitive nature led her to uncover the many treasures the Black Hills have to offer. She has called them home since 2014.

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