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Mount Rushmore National Memorial
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Full-Day Mt. Rushmore Monuments Tour from Deadwood
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Black Hills Monument Tour
Ranked #1 of 23 things to do in Keystone
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created this famous mountainside carving of the visages of four great American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
Reviewed 16 July 2008

Mount Rushmore was fabulous. We got there pretty early in the morning, so it wasn't crowded yet, which was nice. Make sure you bring cash, though, since parking is $10 and they only accept cash. The rest of the site is free. We were able to walk around a little of the Presidential Walk, which was well laid out. There were tee pees for the the kids to check out and a Ranger there talking about them. There are great signs to read about the presidents featured on the mountain. A great thing to see.

2  Thank Goophygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8,128 - 8,132 of 8,595 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2008

We went to Mount Rushmore on July 3, 2008, one of the biggest days with crowds. First of all, we had to wait 1 hour for parking. It was unreasonable for the Mount Rushmore workers to think that it would be crowded and they might think to have some other parking lots and take the people to the monument. Nothing. It was so crowded that we couldn't even take many pictures without anyone bumping into us. And also, we didn't even go to Mount Rushmore to see the fireworks, we just wanted to see the monument and leave. Even without the crowds, I will admit that this is a "visit one time is enough place."

4  Thank mathchampion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2008

As you approach the park from either side-it's uphill. We went on July 3rd and had a terrible time with parking. The monument itself was awesome though. It's free to get in, we paid the $5 for the audio tour and really enjoyed that. The path and terrain to the monument is not difficult, but it's not short either. Be prepared to walk. There is a neat movie explaining the history (about 15 minutes) we also toured the studio. I'd say you could do it in half a day easily if you are an active person. We did not buy food in the park, although there is plenty of opportunity.

2  Thank VeggieHeaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2008

We're here on Father's day, hardly any crowds, parking was a breeze. The day was sunny and clear. We even saw a mountain goat below the President's faces. This monument is a MUST see for everyone who can make it here. It's spectacular in every way. We're going back again just so we can see it one more time before we head out.

2  Thank WVClairenmaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2008

This was by far my favorite activity after a week in the Black Hills and we had to go three times to finally see it with a blue sky (or see it at all since the first time it was too foggy to see). This happened to be the cheapest thing we did while in South Dakota--everything else was much more expensive. And considering we went to the Lighting Ceremony another evening-we got our money's worth out of the $10 fee.
There is a guided tour that takes about 30-45 minutes with good information about the making of Mt. Rushmore and the four presidents chosen by Borglum. We enjoyed walking the President's Trail with the guide. This was offered at three different times during the day (check the board as you enter-it lists the tour times and perhaps there are more times during tourist season).
We also went into the exhibit on the lower level and watched the two movies available (free)--each about 12-15 minutes in length. One is about the building of Mt. Rushmore and the other is about the local flora and fauna of the National Park there. We enjoyed both (and it provided a respite from the 35-45 degree temperatures outside!)
One tip-- because of the cold weather (high of 35 the first day we were there!) in late May and the visiblity was poor I returned in the morning of our 3rd day there at 7am when I finally saw some blue sky. It was emply! There were very few people there (fewer than 10!) Not that it was ever really crowded while we were there, but it was amazing to be there and feel like we were getting a private viewing! So, if you are worried about crowds, I suggest going early--parents with kids on vacation sometimes let them sleep in a bit.
As far as the lighting ceremony at night:(9:00pm) The speech we heard during the ceremony was given by the tour guide and contained the same information we heard on the tour. Kind of boring for my teenagers. The movie was good and again highlighted each president. The best part is at the end when they have all of the military men and women present come down front and as they pass a folded flag they give their name, time served and location served--very moving. We all sing the national anthem as they light the monument. Bring a blanket to cozy up in if the night will be cool!

5  Thank hmusic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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