Visit Mount Rushmore On Your South Dakota Road Trip

It was a busy day.  We left Brookings bright and early with the Badlands on our minds.  We figured since we were close, we would go to Mount Rushmore too.  I had heard some not so exciting things about it, that it’s not all that impressive, but I mean, we had to go.  It’s Mount Rushmore for goodness sake.

After paying the sad $11 parking fee (good for the rest of the year!) we headed up and found a spot before the short trek, if you could even call it that at all, to the viewpoint.  We wandered up and spent a few minutes admiring their gleaming faces before deciding that it was just alright.

There is a trail that goes somewhere below it, but it was closed still as it was only early April.  We headed to the visitor center to look for postcards or stickers but passed on both.  As we were leaving though, we saw some mountain goats which may have been the highlight for both of us.

Like the Grand Canyon and Leon, I thought it was just alright.  Like the Grand Canyon and Leon, I’m glad I went.  Unlike the Grand Canyon and Leon, I wouldn’t be upset to not return to Rushmore.  It’s definitely something to see if you’re in the area and doing one of these Great American Roadtrips, which I would highly recommend.  I mean, it is Mount Rushmore after all.

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Tips for visiting Mount Rushmore:

  • There is no park entrance fee, but parking is $10, so there kind of is an enrty fee.  Your national park pass won’t work on this.
  • The Presidential Trail gets you closer to the carving.  It is 0.6 miles long and has 422 stairs. (Part of it will be closed in 2018)
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife!  We saw a bunch of mountain goats on our way into the park.
  • The visitor facilities are open every day but December 25.  On that day, the parking and grounds are still open, but all buildings are closed.  For more specific information on hours, check out the park website.
  • If you’re going in the winter, or even up to April, a lot of businesses in Keystone will probably be closed or have limited hours.  When we went in April, a lot of the town wasn’t open yet.  Also, keep in mind that it will probably be very cold and snowy in the winter.

Have you been to Mount Rushmore?  What did you think of it?  Do you want to go?

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