Mount Rushmore National Memorial located in Keystone, South Dakota is a symbol of not only the national pride but an exceptional work by the engineers. Carved from the granite, the mountain pays tribute to USA’s four past presidents which were George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. Mount Rushmore is visited by nearly three million visitors each year. The tourists can explore the park, walk down the Presidents trail that takes them to the mountains base, visit the museums and shop at its gift shop. Mount Rushmore is a great place to view the rich heritage of America.
Mount Rushmore has been carved by Danish-American Sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln Borglum. It features 60-foot sculptors of the four presidents and is located 5725 feet above sea level. The presidents were selected on what each symbolizes. George Washington for his struggle for independence, while Thomas Jefferson for the idea of the government by the people, Abraham Lincoln for his desire of equality and Theodore Roosevelt for his contribution to the worlds’ affairs. The carving began in 1927 and spanned 14 years. Six and half years were spent in carving the mountains while weather delays and lack of funds used up the excess time. Work continued by his son on the mountain even after the death of Gutzon Borglum in 1941. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $900,000.
When to Go:
Most visitors prefer to visit the mountains in the summers (from June to September). Although the winter months are not very crowded, but winter sports enthusiast come at snow time to enjoy skiing and snowmobiling. The autumn days are pleasantly warm with cold nights while spring in Mount Rushmore is usually snowy and rainy.
Apart from the granite carving that has made Mount Rushmore so famous, the area offers many other activities for the tourists to enjoy. The tourists can visit the Sculptors studio which belonged to sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Some plaster models and sculpting tools are exhibited in the studio. Mountain carving process is also explained in the special studio talks. The Lincoln Borglum museum has a 125-seat theater which displays a short film “Shrine” which is dedicated to the history of the memorial. The avenue of flags is also a not to be missed exhibit. The flags of the 56 states and territories fly below the memorial and provide a spectacular view of the monument. Day hikes and rock climbing are also organized in the park.
Exploring the mountain:
The mountains are best viewed by foot. The mountains can be visited in car also and there are many ranger guided tours available.
Mount Rushmore has gone through many changes in the past years. The park requires no admission fees to enter and is open 24 hours a day, all year round.