PIERRE, S.D. – Through a sea of towering pine trees and granite peaks, a memorial like no other exists. It combines a man-made wonder with the natural scenic landscape of Black Hills National Forest. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of South Dakota’s Great Places.
Rising 500 feet above, visitors are awed by the four faces stoically looking upon hills covered in pine, spruce, aspen, and birch trees.
The granite faces of George Washington (1st president), Thomas Jefferson (3rd president), Theodore Roosevelt (26th president), and Abraham Lincoln (16th president) are carved into a mountain. The memorial is considered America’s Shrine of Democracy. Nearly three million visitors come to Mount Rushmore National Memorial each year.
Mount Rushmore took 14 years to complete after drilling began on the mountainside in 1927 by sculptor Gutzon Borglum. It also cost only $1 million. Today the memorial is deemed priceless.
The memorial offers a wide range of exhibits and tours, including the Lincoln Borglum Museum, Avenue of Flags, and the Presidential Trail, a half-mile walking trail that offers breath-taking views of the mountain sculpture.
Each night, there is a patriotic lighting ceremony, which begins approximately at 9 p.m., May-September.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located just outside of Keystone on Highway 16A. There is a parking fee, which is good for one year.
The memorial is open year round. May 8-August 13, hours are from 8 a.m.-10 p.m., with the gift shop open until 10:30 p.m.
To learn more about Mount Rushmore National Memorial, visit the website.
South Dakota’s Great Places weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, designed to highlight places in South Dakota that are unique to travelers and residents alike. View our newsroom to access the complete list of articles.
Information for this press release was obtained from the Mount Rushmore National Memorial website.