Located in Keystone, South Dakota, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial has been a part of America's history since 1941. Visitors interested in seeing a piece of history and marveling at the engineering capabilities of those who carved out the memorial will especially appreciate a visit to the site. Young children, however, might get bored rather quickly.
Must see and do at Mount Rushmore
The reason most visitors travel to the memorial is to see the mountain carving, and the best way to do that is by taking the Presidential Trail, a half mile walk that will allow you to see the carvings up close. If you have more time to spend at the memorial and want to get out of the heat, the 14-minute video presentation on how Mount Rushmore came to be can be seen at the visitor center. Finally, if you find yourself at the memorial between May and September, be sure and stick around for the evening lighting ceremony that happens nightly.
Best and worst time to go to Mount Rushmore
Winter weather conditions could hamper a trip to the national memorial so if you can wait, plan your trip for late April or early May. During those months the mornings are still cool and you won't have to worry about the heat of the summer you'll have if you go later. Plus, you won't have to deal with the thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts heading to the town of Sturgis every year in August.
Admission to Mount Rushmore
The national memorial is free to enter, as is the visitor center. However, you do still have to pay for parking, which is around $10 per car.
Wildlife at Mount Rushmore
Due to its location in the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore is home to a variety of wildlife. Mule deer and yellow-bellied marmots are especially active during the summer months, but tend to prefer avoid the heat by staying in the shade. Lucky visitors could also catch a glimpse of the mountain goat. Be sure and keep a safe distance from wildlife at the memorial.
Insider Tip for Mount Rushmore
While a half-mile walk on the Presidential Trail doesn't sound that strenuous, the 422 steps on the trail can tire anyone out. Be sure to wear athletic clothes and bring enough water on the hike for you and your children. You (and they) will enjoy the site much more if you keep everyone hydrated.
Author's bio: Clint T. has lived in Utah on and off for the past 20 years and will never grow tired of the great outdoors.