Top 10 Things To Do At Mount Rushmore

The four famous faces at Mount Rushmore National Memorial are a spectacle to see, but did you know there's more to do at the park than gaze upon the sculpture? Check out the top 10 things to do below to make the most of your monumental vacation.


1 - Avenue of Flags

Take a walk along the avenue of flags during your Mount Rushmore vacation where these 56 impressive symbols of heritage and history guide you towards the presidents overlooking the Black Hills. 



park ranger speaking in front of mount rushmore model in the sculptor studio

2 - Learn About the Sculptor: Gutzon Borglum

An American Artist and sculptor, Gutzon Borglum brought Mount Rushmore to life in 1927. Learn more about the tools and materials inside the Sculptors Studio.





3 - 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. 



stairs leading to the base of mount rushmore along the presidential trail

4 - Walk the Presidential Trail

Mount Rushmore offers a plethora of activities, but one truly impressive experience brings you right beneath the gaze of the presidents themselves. The Presidential Trail provides visitors with the closest view of the memorial, though it's worth noting that there are 422 stairs to tackle. Beginning and ending at the Grand View Terrace, this trail forms a 0.6-mile loop. If you face the mountain and head left on the trail, the first 0.2 miles are handicap accessible, leading you to the base of the memorial.




5 - Watch 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. 



Selfie with MR

6 - Take a Selfie With the Presidents

What is a Mount Rushmore Vacation without some selfies with famous people? All four presidents have their best face forward just waiting for you to share the perfect pic.



Junior Ranger Program

7 - 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 activity allows you to learn about Mount Rushmore by interacting with it. Check it out at the Visitor Center.



teepee at mount rushmore in the lakota nakota and dakota heritage village

8 - Visit the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Heritage Village

Uncover the profound history of the Black Hills and the indigenous peoples who have called it home. Led by Darrell Red Cloud and Sequoia Crosswhite, this segment of the Presidential Trail showcases the rich traditions of local tribes. Open from late May to mid-August, check the event calendar on the Mount Rushmore website for schedule details.



model faces of the mount rushmore presidents located inside the memorial visitor center

9 - Visit the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center

Taking in the monumental Mount Rushmore can leave you speechless, but how and why was it built? The thing to do at Mount Rushmore to find those answers is to visit the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center filled with a short film and interactive activities.  The Visitor Center is located below the Grand View Terrace. 




10 - Participate in Ranger Talks

When your Mount Rushmore vacation has you wanting to learn more about the history of the monument, Ranger talks provide guided walks and interpretative sessions to help answer any questions. 

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