There are certain landmarks in this country that everyone should see at least once. One of those is Mt. Rushmore, a destination of my western adventure.
Mt. Rushmore is an easy drive from Rapid City, South Dakota where we stayed. There are several fun and interesting things to do in Rapid City and the vicinity including Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park and the Crazy Horse Memorial to name a few.
Mt. Rushmore is sort of a mess right now as a portion of the property has been torn up and is behind a chain link construction fence. You can only admire this magnificent monument from afar.
Honestly, it’s a bit smaller than I expected but impressive nonetheless. It’s incredible when you consider what can be accomplished with dynamite, jackhammers and chisels.
It took fourteen years for a few hundred miners, sculptors and rock climbers to create this granite masterpiece that features Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.
Portions of the monument can be seen from the road below but it’s worth the $10 parking fee to get out of the car and look around. There’s a great visitors’ center with a gift shop and ice cream shop where you can taste Thomas Jefferson’s ice cream recipe.
So many of the employees are clearly immigrants and it’s great fun to hear all the accents working at and visiting this monument to some of our nation’s great presidents. For this country girl from Appalachian Ohio, the exposure to different languages, accents and people of nationalities across the world is a treat.
If you go, know that your National Parks Pass will not help you here as that pass only covers park admissions. Mt. Rushmore is free but there is a fee for parking not covered by the pass. Never heard of the National Parks Pass? My pal Johnna, who I was traveling with, has one (it’s actually called the America the Beautiful Pass) and it’s a great deal if you plan to make many park visits in a year. Click here to learn more.
Want to know more about visiting Mt. Rushmore? You’ll find everything you need at the National Parks website!