While most visitors travel to Mount Rushmore to admire the enormous sculpted faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, there are numerous other ways to experience this site and immerse yourself in the human history and the natural surroundings of the Black Hills of South Dakota.
If you have 1-2 hours:
- Visit the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center to view exhibits and a 14-minute film describing the reasons for and methods used in carving Mount Rushmore.
- Walk the Presidential Trail (0.6 miles long, 422 stairs, weather permitting) to get up close and personal with the mountain sculpture and perhaps glimpse some of the area wildlife.
- Visit the Sculptor's Studio, where Gutzon Borglum spent much of his time refining his scale model of Mount Rushmore. Open May to September only.
If you have more time, you may also consider:
- Attending a ranger walk or talk, or a Sculptor's Studio talk.
- Taking the audio tour on your own (rental fee charged)
- Visiting the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Heritage Village to learn more about some of the area's original residents. Open 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. mid-June through mid-August, weather permitting.
- Attending the Evening Lighting Ceremony held nightly mid-May through the end of September.