South Dakota

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Discover what to see and do in Mount Rushmore National Memorial

What was once a natural rock face in the Black Hills of South Dakota, about 960 kilometers from Minneapolis, Minnesota, is now one of the most iconic sculptures in the United States. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum started blasting and carving the granite in 1927, and 14 years later the Mount Rushmore National Memorial opened to the public. Today, the famous sculpture welcomes nearly 3 million visitors each year. The faces of four of the most influential U. S. presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln — watch over everything from their perch.

Below the Grand View Terrace, from which guests have a commanding view of the sculpture, is the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, named for Gutzon Borglum’s son, who finished the monument after his father’s death in 1939. From the visitor center, guests can walk the 1-kilometer Presidential Trail for an up-close look at the sculpture, or they can take part in one of the park’s ranger-led programs, such as a talk in the Sculptor’s Studio, where Borglum spent much of his time.

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