Note: You are viewing this in a printer-friendly format. Switch to normal view.
MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL
A Monumental Day at Mount Rushmore Itinerary
Planning your Mount Rushmore vacation is easy with this Rapid City Monumental Day Itinerary. Below is our suggestion for how you can spend a day visiting our nation’s Shrine of Democracy, Mount Rushmore.
Picture Perfect MorningsMorning is one of the best times of the day to see the faces of Mount Rushmore. The rising sun casts a golden glow on the memorial and the lack of large crowds gives you uninhibited views.
Have Breakfast with the PresidentsThe Carver’s Café at Mount Rushmore is open year-round (winter and summer hours may vary). Here you can enjoy hot breakfast, coffee and espresso, smoothies or a sweet roll from the Bosun Chair Bakery as you experience the presidential views of the Grand Terrace.
A Mid-Morning Hike—The Presidential Trail at Mount Rushmore
|See a different view of the presidents as you take a walk along the Presidential Trail. This half-mile walk has many different vantage points that give you an up-close view of the sculpture. The trail has two sides—one with steps and one that is wheelchair accessible.
A Giant Vision—The Sculptor’s StudioAfter walking the trail, stop into the Sculptor’s Studio (open seasonally, May-September) and see sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s true vision for Mount Rushmore. Inside the studio, you’ll find plaster models and many of the tools the carvers used for the fine detailing of the faces.
- During the summer months, Park Rangers lead small programs and explain the different exhibits.
|The parking pass you purchase for Mount Rushmore is good for an entire year so take the opportunity to leave the park and head back to Rapid City for a quiet lunch and tour of the City of Presidents in downtown Rapid City.
- Another highlight of downtown Rapid City is Main Street Square, where you can play in the dancing fountains in the summer or ice skate outside in the winter. Also check out Memorial Park, Art Alley and a variety of shopping.
After recharging in Rapid City, head back to Mount Rushmore for more patriotic fun.
Cool Down with the Memorial Team
- Enjoy a cool treat at the Memorial Team Ice Cream shop, which is named in honor of the Mount Rushmore baseball team and carvers. Memorial Team Ice Cream features soft-serve and hand-dipped cones, as well as fountain drinks, floats and snacks.
Bring Home a Memory—The Mount Rushmore Gift Shop
- After enjoying your sweet treat, head to the Mount Rushmore Gift Shop to browse the variety of souvenirs, gifts and clothing. You’ll also find books and videos that feature Mount Rushmore, Black Hills and Native American history.
More to Rushmore—Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center and Museum
- Your visit to Mount Rushmore is not complete until you’ve toured the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center and Museum. Here you’ll find unique exhibits about each president, hands-on history displays and a theater that features a short film about the carving and the people instrumental in creating Mount Rushmore. There is also an extensive bookstore at the museum.
A Moving Tribute—Memorial Lighting Ceremony (seasonal only)
- At dusk, head to the Mount Rushmore amphitheater for a moving patriotic tribute and memorial lighting ceremony. Throughout the summer months, Park Rangers play a historic film and recognize military personnel and veterans before a dramatic lighting of the faces. The patriotic lighting ceremony is the perfect way to end your monumental day at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.