The Black Hills of South Dakota have always held a special meaning. The American Indians have considered these hills sacred for centuries and today Mount Rushmore is considered a sacred place to people from many different cultures and countries. To some it reflects Patriotism; to others it reflects the natural beauty of our nation, to some it represents a great work of art and still to others it presents a challenge for them to begin to share their own cultures. Each visitor to the memorial is able to find within themselves their own idea of what it reflects and hold that idea true.
The Black Hills for centuries have been a place of healing and reflection. This belief is still alive today at the memorial where millions of visitors come each year to reflect on their surroundings at Mount Rushmore, the larger than life sculpture, the magnificent Black Hills scenery, and wildlife.
The memorialís future holds limitless possibilities for education, inspiration, unity and healing. Come be a part of it.
There is more to Mount Rushmore than meets the eye, use all five of your senses to discover the little know wonders hidden below the sculpture of the four presidents. Mount Rushmore is located in the scenic Black Hills of South Dakota. The Black Hills are also called the "Island in the Prairie", because they are an island of granitic hills surrounded by a prairie sea.
The Black Hills and mixed grass prairies of South Dakota are two different types of biological communities. When two different biological communities meet, like the Black Hills and the mixed grass prairies, the biological diversity increases.
Therefore the Black Hills have great biological diversity and the plant and animal life is abundant and varied. On a typical day at Mount Rushmore you might see several different species of wildflowers, a deer, chipmunks and turkey vultures. If you take a closer look you might find spiders and beetles in the grass or a snake sunning itself on a rock. When you visit remember to use more than just your sense of sight to discover some of the other wonders at Mount Rushmore.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial provides self-guided and ranger-guided opportunities for you to explore the history, art and science of this mountain sculpture and its setting.
"The Shrine", a short film shown at the Lincoln Borglum Museum, provides an introduction to the memorial. While there, visit our new exhibit hall, completed in 1998. Inside you will find interactive exhibits through which you can discover more about the men and the methods used to create Mount Rushmore.
A short stroll along the Presidential Trail provides the closest access to the sculpture. Along the way, enjoy more intimate views of the artwork as either a self-guided or ranger-guided walk.
Put yourself in the artist's perspective and view the mountain sculpture and the original model from the very place Gutzon Borglum saw his dream become reality: The Sculptor's Studio.
Ranger-led activities are conducted daily during the summer. Rangers are also available to answer your questions at either the Information Center or Visitor Center throughout the year.
The sculpture on Mount Rushmore is illuminated nightly year-round. During the summer months, a sculpture lighting program is held in the park's amphitheater each night at 9 p.m. (program begins at 8 p.m. in September). The 30-minute program consists of a short ranger talk, a film about the four presidents on the mountain, the playing of the National Anthem and the lighting of the sculpture. Details