Skip to main content
Header image

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

The massive outcropping of granite from which the memorial was carved is at the top of the mountain. Each face is 60 feet high and carved with an intricate perfection of detail and expression. Excellent views are available from the Grand View Terrace or along the Presidential Trail that takes visitors past the base of the sculpture.

Mount Rushmore represents the distinctive achievements of the United States during its first 150 years as personified by four great national leaders. Washington (the Birth) represents the founding principles of the new Union; Jefferson (the Growth), the Declaration of Independence and the Louisiana Purchase; Lincoln (the Preservation), the maintenance of the country during the Civil War; and Roosevelt (the Development), the expansion of the country through the implementation of the Panama Canal and the conservation of the United States' natural resources.

The Information Center orients visitors to the memorial and the Black Hills. The Lincoln Borglum Museum below the Grand View Terrace provides the memorial's history through exhibits and a 13-minute film shown throughout the day. An audio tour, The Living Memorial, is available for a small fee. Times and locations of ranger-guided walks are available at the Information Center or the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center.

The Sculptor's Studio houses tools and models from the memorial's construction. An evening program, presented in the amphitheater in summer, concludes with the lighting of the sculpture accompanied by the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Military personnel are honored during the evening program. During the remainder of the year, the sculpture is illuminated nightly at dusk for one hour.

No overnight accommodations, campsites or picnic areas are within the memorial grounds, but they can be found in nearby parks, forests and communities.

Note: Daytime parking for trailers is extremely limited, and road grades are very steep; the National Park Service suggests leaving trailers at nearby campgrounds. Food is available. No pets are allowed in the developed areas. Allow 2 hours minimum.

Information Center and Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Memorial Day weekend to mid-Aug.; 8 a.m.-9 p.m., mid-Aug. through Sept. 30; 8-5, rest of year. Sculptor's Studio open daily 8-5, late May-late Sept. Audio Tour Building open daily 8-4, late May-late Sept. Evening program presented nightly at 9, late May to mid-Aug.; at 8, mid-Aug. through Sept. 30. Spring and fall hours may vary; phone ahead. Closed Christmas. Free admission. Annual parking fee $11 per private vehicle. Phone (605) 574-2523.

More Articles


Travel Like an Expert with AAA and Trip Canvas

Get Ideas from the Pros

As one of the largest travel agencies in North America, we have a wealth of recommendations to share! Browse our articles and videos for inspiration, or dive right in with preplanned AAA Road Trips, cruises and vacation tours.

Build and Research Your Options

Save and organize every aspect of your trip including cruises, hotels, activities, transportation and more. Book hotels confidently using our AAA Diamond Designations and verified reviews.

Book Everything in One Place

From cruises to day tours, buy all parts of your vacation in one transaction, or work with our nationwide network of AAA Travel Agents to secure the trip of your dreams!