As a child growing up I remember watching many American movies about a family taking a road trip during summer to Mount Rushmore. From the abundance of shows and movies I just assumed that this attraction was in an easy accessible place. I was wrong.
As you can tell from the below snippet from Google. It really is smack bang in the middle of nowhere. To give you an idea its is 367 miles from Denver, 596 miles from Minneapolis & 1167km from Winnipeg.
So my first experience of Mount Rushmore was an appreciation for the thousands of families that road trip to Mount Rushmore every year.
Mount Rushmore was defiantly one of those “wow I cant believe I’m actually here” kinda moments. It is a quintessential tourist attraction of the states. Our reason for visiting was a move across the country. Due to the speed limits being higher in America, its actually quicker to drive through the states to get to the other side of Canada. So with the big drive ahead of us we thought we should take a small detour and experience this mighty attraction.
The four president heads that are carved into the rock are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson ,Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln . The sculptures sit around 18 m high. The original plan was to carve out bodies to match but they ran out of time/money. It still manages to attract almost 3 million people annually!
If you have the time up your sleeve (we didn't) there is plenty to explore in this national park. Bring sneakers, comfy clothes, water and some snacks and head of on the day filled of adventure exploring the National Park.
While there are no fees to enter the national park, there is a parking fee. Its a very reasonable price of $10. We visited in late afternoon at the beginning of summer in a "long vehicle" and had no issues getting parking. I can not comment on the availability during summer break. Do some research! It might be worth your while to stay in town and catch a ride up on a day tour bus.
Just below the monument (and still in the national park) is a town called Keystone. I highly recommend a night (or three) in this township. Its origins were a mining town, but these days its a resort town servicing the tourists visiting Mt Rushmore. The infrastructure has been constructed around the space left available from the large rocky mountain sides. This in itself makes for an interesting aesthetic, mix that with the theme of old timey mining town and you have a great little town for a getaway. This little town packs a big punch when it comes to being entertained. There are plenty of attractions, places to eat and things to do that will keep you busy and interested for a few days. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to explore and stay more then the one night. We will be back!