With over three million visitors per year, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is South Dakota’s busiest attraction. Known as the “Shrine of Democracy,” the sculpture has captured the ideals and imaginations of generations. Originally intended to increase tourism to the Black Hills area, the carving of Mount Rushmore National Memorial was approved by a Congressional delegation and President Calvin Coolidge in 1927. Carving the mountain finished in 1941 without any fatalities.
In 1924, sculptor Gutzon Borglum traveled to the Black Hills after being persuaded by historian, Doane Robinson, to sculpt the grand monument. Choosing its current location – because of its exposure to the sun – Borglum said, “America will march along that skyline.”
From October 4, 1927 to October 31, 1941 Borglum and 400 workers sculpted U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln into the mountainside.
Hours of Operation
Open daily and year-round.
Closed Christmas Day.
Mid-May to mid-August 8:00am - 10:00pm
Mid-August to late-Sept 8:00am - 9:00pm
Early-October to mid-May 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial cost approximately one million dollars and was mostly carved during the Great Depression.
- Almost the entire mountain (over 90%) was carved using dynamite. These explosive blasts removed approximately 450,000 tons of rock. After the rock was cleared away, the details were finished with jackhammers and hand chisels.
- The faces on Mount Rushmore are 60 feet high, which is approximately the size of a six-story building.
- The eyes of each president are 11 feet wide, and their mouths are approximately 18 feet wide.
- While President Calvin Coolidge officially dedicated Mount Rushmore on August 10, 1927, carving didn’t start until October 4, 1927.
- Located 4 miles away from the Powder House, we’re one of the few places that offers lodging near Mt. Rushmore.
- Fees: There is no admission to the memorial, but there is a parking fee.
- $11.00 (Annual pass) Cars, Motorcycles and RV's
- $50.00 (Commercial Bus/day)
- PARKING ATTENDANTS DO NOT ACCEPT CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS. Cash, Travelers Check or Local Check only.