Mount Rushmore, South Dakota – American Road Trip (pt 15)
Back to the American Road Trip after a month of Italian posts. Don’t worry, we’ll get through this. To add a little order to my blog chaos, I’ll be posting my current European travels on the weekend and finish up my American road show with posts throughout the week.
1 Sept 2015 / Day 23 – Mount Rushmore was quite the site to see after my mid-morning cowboy adventure and drive through the Badlands. It was a clear, sunny September afternoon in the Black Hills of western South Dakota. I couldn’t have chosen a better time to visit this National Memorial. As an American, it’s one of those places you hear and read about from a very young age and eventually associate with the everything patriotic. I just never thought I’d actually be standing in front of it. It’s pretty awe-inspiring when you first walk up through all the state flags and see the faces. I’m definitely glad I did a little road trip research before making my way back west.
There is a large viewing area where you can admire Mount Rushmore and get a better look at the 60 foot stone faces. There is also a large outdoor amphitheater facing the memorial. If you visit in the summer months, they play a 45-minute “Evening Program” movie at dusk before illuminating the Memorial. I hear it’s pretty nice, but I didn’t stick around for it. This was my third stop of the day and I had one more to make.
After about 15 minutes in the viewing area, I headed inside the very large cafeteria and gift shop. If you like gift trinkets, you won’t be disappointed here. I quickly ate a delicious, but very expensive, chicken sandwich and made my way back to the car park. I had a few hours of daylight left and I still wanted to see the Crazy Horse Memorial which was a short 25-minute drive away.
If you plan on visiting the area, Mount Rushmore is about 80 miles (130 km) from Badlands National Park and 15 miles (15 km) to the Crazy Horse Memorial . There is no entrance fee for Mt. Rushmore but you do have to pay $11 per vehicle to park cars, motorcycles and RV’s. Not too bad of a deal compared to the cost of entry for most National Parks.
I’ll leave you with a refresher map of my American Road trip to get you back up to speed. Click on the map if you want to revisit previous posts.