Mount Rushmore National Monument, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore National Monument, South Dakota

While in the Rapid City area, we spent a day at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.  Within that one day, we were blessed with cloudy skies, rain, hail, and then sunshine.  It felt just like being at home in Chicago.


We were fortunate enough to witness a special performance by a male and female Native American from the local Lakota Tribe.  They were dressed in traditional clothing, and performed several songs and dances.  What really made the performance great was that before each dance, they took the time to explain the meaning of their clothing and movements.

Also on that day, Nick Clifford, a former Mount Rushmore driller and winchman, was there signing copies of his book, Mount Rushmore, Q & A.

We also watched the movie in the Visitor Center, which was really very interesting about how the monument was made, and how shockingly dangerous of a job for those men.

Once the rain cleared, we took the 1/2 mile Presidential trail to get a closer look at the Presidents.  I highly recommend taking this short trail.  It gave a really neat perspective of the monument.  As we neared the end of the trail, there was also the Sculptor’s Studio, with a scale model of the monument.

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The boys once again received their Junior Ranger badges while we were there.  I think mom and dad deserved a badge that day, too.  That was one tough Junior Ranger book!


We also enjoyed identifying each state flag along the walkway to the monument, and reading what year each state was admitted to the Union, especially Illinois:


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On a side note, our entrance fee was covered by our National Park Pass, however, it is one of the few places that also charge an additional fee for parking.

For more information, visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial.