Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Visiting a national memorial can be breathtaking, especially when it involves 60-feet of presidential portraits carved into granite at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. So, where is Mount Rushmore? Right in the Black Hills of South Dakota, about 30-mintues southwest of Rapid City where visitors can find a wide range of hotels, dining, and shopping options before-and-after meeting George, Thomas, Teddy, and Abe.
Whether you’re taking selfies with the presidents, find yourself hiking the Presidential Trail, or indulging in Thomas Jefferson’s original ice cream recipe, things to do during your Mount Rushmore vacation are plentiful, enjoyable and just plain delicious.
KEYSTONE, SD, 57751
Rapid City is the perfect hub for your Mount Rushmore vacation
Top 10 things to do at #mountrushmore
1 Visit at Sunrise
There’s something special about rising with the sun and watching the shadows of the monument slowly fade first thing in the morning. Best part, you’ll have the whole thing to yourself.
2 Eat Thomas Jefferson's Ice Cream
Without Thomas Jefferson we may not have this delicious treat. Give your Mount Rushmore vacation a taste of the first recorded ice cream recipe in American history.
3 Walk the Presidential Trail
Things to do at Mount Rushmore are plentiful. This impressive trail will take you to the Youth Exploration Area, the Lakota, Nakota & Dakota Heritage Village - right next to the presidents.
4 Attend The Evening Lighting Ceremony
Every year starting the Friday before Memorial Day, your Mount Rushmore vacation becomes illuminated. After sunset, the presidents light up as a Park Ranger talks about its storied history.
5 Take a Selfie with the Presidents
What is a Mount Rushmore vacation without some selfies with famous people? Discover unique angels from the Carvers' Marketplace, Borglum View Terrace & the Sculptor's Studio. All four presidents have their best face forward just waiting for you share the perfect pic.
6 Complete the Junior Ranger Program
The Junior Ranger Program is the perfect thing to do at Mount Rushmore for kids of all ages (yes you too, mom and dad). This no fee, paper or digital activity allows you to learn about Mount Rushmore by interacting with it. Check it out at the Information Center.
7 Visit the Sculptor's Studio
Built in 1939 as the on-site studio for sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the Sculptor’s Studio shares unique plaster models and tools found only during a Mount Rushmore vacation. Learn more about Borglum's vision in the Information Center.
8 Hike the Blackberry Trail
Take a hike on this one-mile nationally recognized trek through the wilderness on Blackberry Trail at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. It is horse-friendly as much as it is hiker friendly.
9 Participate in Ranger Walks or Talks
When your Mount Rushmore vacation has you wanting to learn more about the history of the monument, Ranger walk-and-talks provide guided walks and interpretative sessions to help answer any questions.
10 Rent an Audio or Multimedia Tour
Experience music, interviews, sound effects and more while listening to the story of Mount Rushmore with the award-winning Mount Rushmore Audio Tour or take the opportunity to see photos and video as you journey through Mount Rushmore’s history with the new Mount Rushmore Multimedia Tour.
Discover More About Mount Rushmore
With so many things to do at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, it’s nice to take a few steps back to dive into its historic beginning. Understanding why this grand location was chosen for such a prestigious monument is a story worth exploring.
Visiting Mount Rushmore
Located just outside the urban hub of Rapid City, South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is accessible year-round with almost three-million visitors each year. Finding things to do around Mount Rushmore is an easy task. Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, Devil’s Tower National Monument, and Jewel Cave National Monument are all within a 1 to 2-hour drive of Mount Rushmore.
- Mount Rushmore Hours
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial is open all year, seven days a week.
- Mount Rushmore grounds:
- 5:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (mid-March to early October)
- 5:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (early October to mid-March)
- Sculpture Illumination:
- Sunset - 11:00 p.m. (mid-March to late May)
- 9:30 - 11:00 p.m. (late May to mid-August)
- 8:30 - 11:00 p.m. (mid-August to early October)
- Sunset - 9:00 p.m. (early October to mid-March)
For more information, please call 605-718-8484 or visit the Mount Rushmore National Memorial page on the National Park Service website.
- Mount Rushmore Parking Cost & Fees:
- Cars, Motorcycles and RVs - $10,
- Seniors - $5
- Free Active Duty Military
- Commercial Tour Bus - $50*
- Verified, non-profit Educational Bus - $25*
- *Parking passes for buses are valid for 24 hours from time of first entry.
- Pay stations accept most major credit cards or cash for parking fees.
Plan Your Mount Rushmore Vacation
Taking a Mount Rushmore vacation means more than seeing a national monument. The things to do around and at Mount Rushmore provide an experience to last a lifetime. Admiring the craftsmanship of the massive sculpture carved 60-feet tall into the granite mountain is a speechless moment. With plenty of accommodation options around Mount Rushmore, plus even more sights and things to do just 30-minutes away in downtown Rapid City, you’ll be sure to rest easy after your day of exploring.
Enhancements to Mount Rushmore National Memorial will begin in late fall or early winter of 2018 and last approximately 18 months. Improvements include the Avenue of Flags, Visitor Center and other areas in the park. The memorial will remain open to visitors while improvements are made.