Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Vacation Travel Guide
Mount Rushmore featuring outdoor art and art

Visit this popular landmark in South Dakota to see firsthand the enormous sculptures of four U.S. presidents carved into a mountain.

South Dakota’s most popular attraction depicts four 60-foot (18-meter) busts of American presidents carved into granite cliffs. Make the drive out to this mammoth sculpture garden to see one of the most recognizable American landmarks.

Although the image of Mount Rushmore is familiar to most, it is still an experience to see first-hand the sheer size of this attraction. As you gaze at the four granite faces, keep in mind that each is as tall as a six-story building. The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln were chosen to represent the first 130 years of United States history.

The Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed Mount Rushmore in 1927. With the help of 400 men, he carved the sculpture in 14 years. The faces catch the sun for most of the day which is why the mountain was chosen.

Visit the Sculptor’s Studio to see original artifacts from the carving of the mountain. Inspect one of the models of Mount Rushmore that Borglum carved early in the design process and see some of the workers’ tools from the carving.

Take the Presidential Trail to reach the viewpoint closest to Mount Rushmore. Walk along the path for a few minutes and reach the foot of the cliffs. The giant faces of Mount Rushmore tower over visitors just above, within a few hundred feet of the viewpoint.

Stick around until after sundown for a nightly lighting ceremony of Mount Rushmore. Sit in the amphitheater and watch as the faces of the cliff seem to slowly rise out of the darkness as they are gradually illuminated by powerful floodlights.

The easiest way to get to Mount Rushmore is to drive, since it is in a fairly remote location, however there is a fee to park. Alternatively, you can take a plane, train, or bus to Rapid City, which is about 24 miles (39 kilometers) to the north. From there rent a car or board a tour bus to reach the park.

Top things to do in Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Top Hotels Close to Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Roosevelt Inn Mount Rushmore
Roosevelt Inn Mount Rushmore
2 out of 5
206 Cemetery Rd, Keystone, SD
Situated in Keystone, this hotel is 1 mi (1.5 km) from Big Thunder Gold Mine and 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from Mount Rushmore. Rushmore Cave and Custer State Park are ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (939 reviews)
"We stayed here just one night after our visit to Mt Rushmore. Very convenient to the monument. We have absolutely no complaints and would stay here again and highly recommend."

Reviewed on Nov 24, 2021

Roosevelt Inn Mount Rushmore
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mt. Rushmore, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mt. Rushmore, an IHG Hotel
2.5 out of 5
Mt Rushmore 321 Swanzey St, Keystone, SD
Situated in a rural location, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Big Thunder Gold Mine and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Mount Rushmore is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (988 reviews)
"Very nice area and convenient to the Mt. Rushmore memorial."

Reviewed on Nov 27, 2021

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mt. Rushmore, an IHG Hotel
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
3 out of 5
24342 Presidio Ranch Road, Keystone, SD
Situated in the mountains, this hotel is 2.3 mi (3.8 km) from Big Thunder Gold Mine and 11.3 mi (18.2 km) from Custer State Park. Black Hills Playhouse and Black ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (299 reviews)
"Great location, loved sitting on the patio looking over Mt Rushmore. Food was really good also and tents were cozy. Only wish some of the other guests were respectful of noise in the evenings as the tent we had was close to others and you could hear easily."

Reviewed on Sep 27, 2021

Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial

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Best Lodging Options Near Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Roosevelt Inn Mount Rushmore
Roosevelt Inn Mount Rushmore
2 out of 5
206 Cemetery Rd, Keystone, SD
Roosevelt Inn Mount Rushmore
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mt. Rushmore, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mt. Rushmore, an IHG Hotel
2.5 out of 5
Mt Rushmore 321 Swanzey St, Keystone, SD
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mt. Rushmore, an IHG Hotel
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
3 out of 5
24342 Presidio Ranch Road, Keystone, SD
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
Ramada by Wyndham Keystone Near Mt Rushmore
Ramada by Wyndham Keystone Near Mt Rushmore
3 out of 5
115 Swanzey Street, Keystone, SD
Ramada by Wyndham Keystone Near Mt Rushmore
Baymont by Wyndham Keystone Near Mt. Rushmore
Baymont by Wyndham Keystone Near Mt. Rushmore
2.5 out of 5
106 Highway 16A, Keystone, SD
Baymont by Wyndham Keystone Near Mt. Rushmore
Magnuson Grand Rushmore View
Magnuson Grand Rushmore View
2 out of 5
522 Highway 16A, Keystone, SD
Magnuson Grand Rushmore View
K Bar S Lodge, Ascend Hotel Collection
K Bar S Lodge, Ascend Hotel Collection
2.5 out of 5
434 Old Hill City Road, Keystone, SD
K Bar S Lodge, Ascend Hotel Collection
Historic 'Grizzly Gulch Cabin' Near Mt. Rushmore!
Historic 'Grizzly Gulch Cabin' Near Mt. Rushmore!
Keystone, SD
Historic 'Grizzly Gulch Cabin' Near Mt. Rushmore!
Quality Inn Keystone near Mount Rushmore
Quality Inn Keystone near Mount Rushmore
2.5 out of 5
231 Winter St., Keystone, SD
Quality Inn Keystone near Mount Rushmore
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.