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Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone

4.6
#1 of 264 in Things to do in South Dakota
Monument National Park
American history carved into stone, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is the work of a team of carvers, led by sculptor Gutzon Borglum. The 18 m (60 ft) sculptures of the heads of four American presidents stand 1,745 m (5,725 ft) above sea level. An iconic symbol of presidential greatness, the stone memorial has appeared in dozens of books and movies, attracting over 2 million tourists each year. Carvers took over a decade to create these mammoth faces, working from 1927 until 1941. The canyon behind the carved heads contains a vault with 16 porcelain enamel panels, which record the history of the United States and the biography of the gigantic sculpture's creator. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our custom trip planner, Keystone Edition.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
8,315 reviews
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4.5
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  • A beautiful place, part of the Black Hills is superb and the monument itself impressive, even if many people are arriving, it is smaller than they imagined. In the evening, do not miss the illumination of the monument, with little speech, projected film on a giant screen to explain a little history of the monument and especially why are these four presidents here that were represented), the flag ceremony. You can also admire Mount Rushmore from the panoramic road (Pigtail Bridges on the Iron Mountain Road).
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  • Of course the must see attraction while in the Black Hills is Mount Rushmore. We visited in the late afternoon & it was still quite busy at that time. We thought the parking was handled well though & ...  more »
  • Attend the nightly lighting ceremony: very patriotic . We also made use of the audio tour guide which gave great information as we toured.  more »
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  • I'd wanted to see this place ever since I was a little kid... And I was not disappointed. The monument is simply enormous and just amazing. It's really a symbol of national pride and what dedicated people can do to honor those who have shaped our country. But besides the monument itself there is a LOT to do. Kids and teens alike can participate in the Rushmore Rangers (or something like that) program, where they can hunt all around the memorial to answer questions. The Presidential Trail was awesome as well! We got to be right under the mountain, and could literally climb up and touch the faces if we really wanted to. Super cool and educational to visit!
  • As national parks go, it doesn't quite have the gravitas or awe inspiring natural wonders that other places like the Badlands or Glacier national Park have. That being said, the facilities are fantastic and it's a cool man-made monument to some of the most influential men in America's history. It's definitely worth stopping at for a quick look and a photo, but I wouldn't plan a while trip around Rushmore. If you're in SD check out the Badlands for sure! Incredible landscape like no place else.
  • Mount Rushmore years ago changed me. I loved it and talked about it for years. We had a Ranger give a talk and he went out and from the top of his head memorized all of us. Then there were films that played and the men and women who protect out country got to go up and introduce ourselves and then the lighting ceremony that leaves you speechless. That's the way I always wanted to remember it. Yesterday I went again, it'd been years and I took family. The ranger this time had note cards that she constantly stared at, messed up a few times, said very little things of interest, invited service men and women to the stage, she said thanks, told people to clap and then said great, have a good night. I hated it. People travel the country and world to see this wonderful monument so to have someone phone it in is very sad. The saving grace and upsetting thing, a friend visited 48 hours after me. He had a completely different show than the two times I'd been there. He was blown away, they sang songs from Hamilton. They had an amazing speaker. He was changed as I was the first time. I wish the speakers would get it together. If you're not ready to talk freely about the monument then you shouldn't be given the microphone. The park. The park is tremendous. It's clean. It's vast. It has everything you wanted and nothing you didn't. It's a quick visit or a long one. But always stay for the lighting ceremony. Apparently you might have the greatest experience of your life or just so so moment after your 3000 mile drive.
  • Before we visited, many of our friends had referred to the monument as "unimpressive", however if you have reasonable expectations and understand what an undertaking such a project was in 1927, then you will feel the opposite. I truly enjoyed having the opportunity to see the mountain and would recommend to anyone. Best $10 you will spend on a couple hours of entertainment! The gift shop had some worthwhile merchandise and​ was not a total rip off like many other tourist attractions. The ice cream shop is a must visit!
  • Beautiful place. They did a lot with the welcome center. Great ice cream place just before the walk of the state flags. Get the vanilla ice cream. They do not have sprinkles (aka jimmies) and have no idea what they are. Talk the walk of the presidents if you can, it is a great walk and many picture opportunities.

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Where to stay in Keystone

As a resort town, Keystone has far more guest beds than residents, and you have your choice of lodging type. Stay right in town in simple, clean hotels and motels, or opt for lodges, cabins, and bed and breakfasts that take advantage of the natural beauty of the Black Hills surrounding Keystone. You'll find a few campgrounds and RV parks in the area. A handful of restaurants reside inside the town, so choose accommodation in Keystone if you want easy access to a wider array of dining options.
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