So, where is Mount Rushmore? Right in the Black Hills of South Dakota – a quick (and beautiful!) drive 30-mintues southwest of Rapid City. On your way there, you’ll enjoy the natural beauty of the Black Hills National Forest as you wind along Highway 16 before the monument comes into view on the final assent up the mountain. The site was chosen because of its grand location and picture-perfect light exposure, making it an ideal setting for the millions of visitors who travel there each year.
Fun fact: Before the sculpting of Mount Rushmore could start, sculptor Gutzon Borglum and U.S. Senator Peter Norbeck worked to secure federal funding for the project by inviting President Calvin Coolidge to vacation at Custer State Park in hopes of convincing him to fund the carving of Mount Rushmore. To better entice the President, workers stocked the stream outside his room with thousands of trout every night leading the President to extend his vacation for two months.
where to stay when you visit
Mount Rushmore and Rapid City go together like bison burgers and craft beer. As luck would have it, you can order both at one of Rapid City’s many downtown restaurants! So when you come to visit the famous faces, be sure to make Rapid City your hub to Do Big Things. Centrally located near bucket-list-worthy attractions and only 30-minutes from Mountain Rushmore, Rapid City welcomes all visitors with a wide range of lodging and dining options, eclectic shopping, miles of hiking and biking trails, a unique downtown culture, and presidents literally waiting to greet you on every corner. It doesn’t get much bigger than that! For even more reasons to stay with us, be sure to check out our sample itinerates or view our complete list of accommodations.