History Of Mount Rushmore
The concept for Mount Rushmore was conceived back in 1923 in the Black Hills area to promote tourism. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum came up with the idea to honor four of our nation’s admirable presidents in his sculpture, and took the idea to Congress! Construction on Mount Rushmore lasted from 1927 until 1941, just after Gutzon Borglum passed away. His son, Lincoln, was to oversee the completion of the sculpture, however the impending world war brought an end to funding, halting construction indefinitely.
The original design of Mount Rushmore was supposed to feature the four presidents with their heads and full torso, however once funding was cut, the project was declared as finished. You can see the evidence of the beginning the torso construction under the head of Washington, but it is just as iconic the was it is!
The Faces Of Mount Rushmore
Borglum chose the four presidents carefully, based on their notable contributions that shaped the U.S. into the country it is today! These 60-foot faces enshrine these iconic leaders of our country, making it a memorable sight!
Borglum chose George Washington, our first-ever president, as he was the father of our country and helped lead colonists in the American Revolutionary War, making him one of the most important men in our nation’s history! To reflect that, Washington is the most prominent figure on Mount Rushmore!
Thomas Jefferson was chosen for being another integral person in the founding of our nation, being the primary author of the Declaration of Independence that led to Britain ceding their power in America! He was also the president behind the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of our country at the time.
Theodore Roosevelt was a great choice, as he led the U.S. through times of rapid economic growth, fighting the monopolizing power of big corporations to level the playing field to protect the common worker. He also negotiated for the construction of the famous Panama Canal, which connected the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
A favorite president throughout history, Abraham Lincoln was chosen for his dedication to preserving the union, and helping the nation through its brutal civil war. He is famously known for bringing an end to slavery and fighting for equality, which makes him deserving of a spot on this great memorial!
Mount Rushmore National Memorial hosts over three million people every year that flock to see this national treasure! The park itself has more to offer than just the awesome sculpture; the beautiful landscapes here boast plenty of plants and animals which you can witness on the nature trail! There are plenty of areas to view Mount Rushmore throughout the park, and you can visit the sculptor’s studio where Gutzon Borglum operated! Be sure to visit the information center, get some memorabilia in the gift shop, and get some food or ice cream at the cafe! You can even take an audio tour for a complete history that lead up to the formation of the sculpture! Admission to the park is free, however there is an $11 parking fee!
Camping is not available within the Mount Rushmore National Memorial park, but there are several great options in the surrounding area! These are just a few of the closest to Mount Rushmore!
Horsethief Lake Campground
This lovely campground features 36 sties, although there is no electricity available, so you’ll have to make sure all your dry camping systems are in check! This highly-rated campground definitely makes up for it with stunning views of Horsethief Lake! You can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, bike riding, and much more! It’s just a short drive to Mount Rushmore, making it the perfect spot! You can make reservations here!
Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch Resort
This campground is located at a resort, giving you options on how you’d like to stay! You can stay in the lodge or cabins, but the hundreds of RV and tent sites are perfect for bringing your RV! You’ll enjoy laundry facilities, comfort stations, three hot tubs, fun activities, and much more! Make your reservation on their website!
Located just one and a half miles from Mount Rushmore, this lovely campground is near all the fun! You’ll enjoy nice hot showers, a heated swimming pool, electrical hookups, laundry facilities, just to name a few! This campground has some mixed reviews, but its close proximity to Mount Rushmore could be worth it! Reservations can be made over the phone, which is listed on their website.
Things To Do
There are plenty of fun things to do and sights to see near Mount Rushmore! If you enjoyed the carved faces of the national monument, pay a visit to the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is another mountain sculpture, which is currently in progress! Feel free to take a drive through the Black Hills, which provides miles of scenic mountain views, like the Needles Highway with its unique formations!
There are also plenty of state parks nearby, like Custer State Park which features abundant wildlife such as buffalo and prairie dogs! Jewel Cave National Monument features the third largest cave in the world, for an unforgettable experience! If you’d like a change of pace from exploring, nearby Rapid City has countless restaurants and shopping options to keep you entertained!
A trip out to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is definitely an unforgettable experience! There’s a lot to see, and you’ll love getting to experience one of the nation’s favorite landmarks! Have you visited Mount Rushmore? Comment with your favorite memories!