Mount Rushmore National Monument is a giant sculpture on the side of a mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota featuring the faces of the United States Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. It became a National Memorial in 1929 and was completed in 1941. It was sculpted by sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his large team of workers.
I’ve visited Mount Rushmore a few times and have learned something each time I’ve been. It’s a great stop to make if you’re in the area or visiting other nearby parks such as Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, or Custer State Park.
5 Things You Can’t Miss at Mount Rushmore
1. Grand View Terrace
Once you walk in the entrance, you will walk down the Avenue of Flags which displays a flag from every state and territory in the United States. The Avenue of Flags ends at Grand View Terrace which has the best view of the entire Mount Rushmore. It is wide open here and there are many people taking pictures of Mount Rushmore. It seems so large from here!
2. Visitor Center
Next, head down the steps or elevators to the right or left sides of the Grand View Terrace. You will go down one level to the Visitor Center. Here there are many exhibits, videos, and pictures describing the history behind Mount Rushmore and the how it is taken care of today. It discusses the aspects of how it was made and personally made me appreciate it more than I did previously. It is interesting to learn how it was made and the process the sculptor used to create this giant work of art. Here there are also restrooms and a small gift shop to pick out some souvenirs to take home.
3. Presidential Trail
After leaving the Visitor Center, take a walk on the presidential trail which beings on the left side of Grand View Terrace in regards to Mount Rushmore. This trail is paved and has 422 steps (some up and some down). It is almost a mile round trip and it is mostly shaded. At some points, you get so close to the faces that you can see up their nostrils. It is definitely a unique view of the faces that most people don’t see. Also the trail is lined with ponderosa pines, so the trail smells so good and is very relaxing.
4. Sculptor’s Studio
Continuing around the Presidential Trail, you will end up at the Sculptor’s Studio. The Sculptor’s Studio houses many items that the sculptor Gutzon Borglum used to create and design Mount Rushmore. There are also plaster models of Mount Rushmore here. There is a gift shop here, as well as some benches to rest if you choose. Immediately after the Sculptor’s Studio, continuing on the trail is a platform that has another great view of Mount Rushmore. Here you can see Mount Rushmore without so many people around.
5. Thomas Jefferson’s Ice Cream
Before you leave the park, be sure to stop at Carver’s Café where you can find ice cream based after Thomas Jefferson’s personal vanilla ice cream recipe! Their flavor TJ’s Vanilla uses the same recipe and ingredients that President Thomas Jefferson used to make his ice cream. It is a really good treat to reward yourself after the Presidential Trail. There are many seating options both inside and outside.
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This concludes the 5 things that you can’t miss at Mount Rushmore National Monument! I hope you’re able to visit here!
Any questions? Let me know down in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
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