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Free Traveling Guides » States » South Dakota » Black Hills

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

mount rushmore

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, a monumental granite sculpture, is situated near Keystone, South Dakota. Located within the United States Presidential Memorial, Mount Rushmore features the 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of the greatest of the United States Presidents, including Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. This Memorial encompasses 1278 acres (5.17 sq. km.) at an elevation of 5725 ft (1745 m) above sea level. At present, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is managed by the National Park Service. It attracts nearly two million people every year from around the globe.

Mount Rushmore has been named after Charles E. Rushmore, a prominent New York lawyer. The mountain carving began in 1927 and was successfully completed in 1941. The National Memorial is also known for its flora and fauna, which is more or less similar to that of the Black Hills region of South Dakota. The bird species that can be commonly spotted on Mount Rushmore include bald eagle, turkey vulture, meadowlark, hawk, nuthatches, songbirds, and woodpeckers. The animal species that inhabit this region include coyote, raccoon, squirrel, bighorn sheep, bobcat, badger, mouse, chipmunk, skunk, and beaver. Besides, Mount Rushmore is also home to a wide variety of plant species, including Ponderosa pine, snapdragon, violet, sunflower, bur oak, cottonwood, and Black Hills Spruce.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is largely composed of smooth, fine-grained granite and is carved on the northwest margin of the Harney Peak. At present, the Memorial features a Visitor Center, the Lincoln Borglum Museum, and the scenic Presidential Trail. The Museum houses two 125-seat theaters, which feature a 13-minute movie about Mount Rushmore. The Presidential Trail begins at the Grandview Terrace Viewpoint and meanders through the Ponderosa pine forests to the Sculptor's Studio. This scenic walking trail offers breathtaking views of the Memorial. The Sculptor’s Studio, on the other hand, was established by Gutzon Borglum and features details about the construction of the monument and the tools used. Another attraction at the Memorial is the Avenue of Flags, where each state of the United States is represented. The Mount Rushmore gift shop encompasses an area of over 5300 square feet (490 square meters) and offers local arts and crafts, including the Black Hills Gold Jewelry.

The Buffalo Dining Room in the Memorial is best known for its strawberry pie and buffalo stew. The Memorial hosts the final concerts of the famous Rushmore Music Camp. It also features a number of interpretive programs, an orientation film, exhibits, and the Evening Sculpture Lighting Ceremony. The Ceremony is held from May to September, in the park’s amphitheater. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is the most popular tourist attraction in South Dakota. It is a shrine of freedom and democracy, and a symbol of the country's birth, growth and ideals. The NPS and the Xanterra Parks & Resorts work together to provide the best possible visitor experience at Mount Rushmore.

  • Telephone: (605) 574-3165
  • Hours: May 24 - August 14:  8 AM - 10 PM daily;
    August 15 - September 30:  8 AM - 9 PM daily;
    October 1 - May 23:  8 AM - 5 PM daily
  • Website: www.nps.gov/moru/
 
 
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