Growing up, I always imagined Mount Rushmore as an integral part of the American family road. Growing up in Texas, it was never part of our road trip. So I was excited to visit this National Monument.
My youngest learned about Mount Rushmore in his preschool class. He was so excited about visiting. He still says this was his favorite park. While, the park is small, it’s worth visiting.
We arrived in this park in the afternoon. We spent the morning doing a tour of Wind Cave as well as a quick visit to Crazy Horse Memorial. (I’ll post about that separately).
There’s no admission to the monument but you do have to pay for parking. Even if you have the annual pass, you still have to pay for parking.
There’s a small shop at the front of the monument. Then there’s a walkway lined with flags of each state. This is a popular spot to take pictures.
We walked to the end of the walkway and took the elevator down to the trail. We wanted to go on a ranger led walk, but couldn’t find the group. We ended up walking on our own.
The paved walk is pretty easy. It takes you up close to the monument and has facts about each of the four presidents on the mountain. We finally saw the ranger, he had finished the guided tour but was hanging out answering questions. The kids peppered him with questions they had about the monument.
Past the monument, the walk will also take you by sculptor’s studio.
Here there was another ranger talk. We decided to opt out and just look at the exhibit on our own.
Afterwards, we went to the visitor center. There’s a movie you can watch and exhibits to look at. The kids also got their junior ranger badges here.
On our way out, we decided to enjoy some ice cream. There’s a restaurant and ice cream (Carver’s ice cream shop) shop at the monument. The ice cream cones are huge! We were trying to decide whether or not to stick around for the light show at night.
We were a little tired and there was little a couple of hours until the show. We decided to skip it though if we had come closer to the show time, we would have stayed.
That night we had dinner at Keystone (that’s where our hotel was). We had dinner at an Indian restaurant and it was actually really good food!
The Black Hills part of South Dakota is beautiful and I would definitely come here again.