South Dakota Scenic Spot】South Dakota's No.1 Scenic Spot! Presidential Mount Rushmore Day Trip Notes

About Mount Rushmore

President's Hill (Mount RushmoreMount Rushmore (also known as Mount Rushmore) is a national monument in South Dakota, and is probably the most recognizable attraction in South Dakota. It was created in 1927 to represent the four presidents of the United States during the first 150 years of the country's history. The four granite statues are 60 feet tall and stand spectacularly on the South Dakota skyline, and have been featured in many famous movies and have become an American icon.

President's Hill is one of the most recognizable attractions in the world, but it's better to say that President's Hill was originally created as a great work of art to boost tourism in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Historian Doane Robinson first proposed the idea in 1923, then he enlisted the help of sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who worked for several years to gain support for the legislation, and then spent the next 14 years working on the sculpture, which wasn't completed until 1941.

The four presidents, from left to right, are Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt Sr. and Abraham Lincoln, chosen by the dominant sculptor Gutzon Borglum: Washington, the Founding Father of the United States, represents the birth of the United States; Jefferson, the third U.S. president, drafted the Declaration of Independence and expanded U.S. territories, representing the growth of the United States; Roosevelt Sr., the 26th president, established the Panama Canal, representing the development of the United States; and Lincoln, the 16th president, ended the Civil War and preserved American unity during his presidency. Roosevelt Sr. was the 26th President and established the Panama Canal, which represented the development of the United States; and Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President, who ended the Civil War during his term of office to preserve the unity of the United States, and thus represented the preservation of the United States.

Mount rushmore, Presidential, Mt. Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road 1

Getting to Presidential Route: Iron Mountain Road

Presidential Hill itself can be played for about half a day to a day, along with the rest of the Black Hills National Forest in the Black hills Attractions Area,Wind Cave National ParkThe first is the Angostura State Park, which is located on the south side of the city,Custer State ParkYou can arrange a couple of days to do this together, depending on the situation. We took 16A from the south to Presidential Hill. The advantage of this route is that we can pass by Iron Mountain Road, which is a classic scenic spot.

Iron mountain road connects Presidential Hill in the north and Custer State Park in the south, and was built in 1933 by Senator Peter Norbeck. The original design was to enjoy the scenery, so the route was designed as a curvy scenic drive, which is not suitable for fast cars, and the ideal driving speed is 20mph.

Norbeck overlook

If you are in a hurry or don't want to spend money to see Presidential Hill, you can take Iron mountain road to see the statue of the President from different angles in several places. Shortly after we walked through the forest, we arrived at Norbeck overlook, a short walk from the parking lot, we arrived at the grandstand where we can see the Presidential Hill from a distance. From here, there are some rocks on the left side of the Presidential Hill, which is the Cathedral Spiral that the needles highway will cross, and it is also a very famous view.

Doane Robinson Tunnel

There are many tunnels on the Iron Mountain, but most of the narrow tunnels can only accommodate one vehicle. The Doane Robinson Tunnel, which honors Doane Robinson, who championed Iron Mountain, offers a classic view of the president through the tunnel.

Mount rushmore, Presidential, Mt. Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road 3

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Park

Finally, we entered the park. The Presidential Park itself is quite grand, and the parking lot alone has many floors. The parking fee is $10RMB and can be used multiple times in a year. If you come in summer, some people will come here once in the day and once in the night. In the evening, there will be a solemn Evening Lighting Ceremony, so you can see the Presidential Hill lit up in the evening. After entering the entrance, there are stores and information center on both sides of the entrance, and you will reach the observation deck through Avenue of flags.

Avenue of flags

The Avenue of flags is the main road leading to the observation deck, facing the four presidents, and lined with flags of the states in alphabetical order. The sea of flags was added in 1976 for the bicentennial of the nation.

Mount Rushmore. President Mount Rushmore.

Lincoln Borglum Visitors Center

The Visitor Center below the observation deck introduces the history of the Presidential Hill, the carving process, and the lives of the four presidents. For those who are interested in history, it is worthwhile to spend an hour or two here. On the side of the Visitor Center facing the Presidential Hill, there are large floor-to-ceiling windows, from which you can look at the tour and the finished product outside.

The exhibition talked about the original design, which was quite different from the President's Hill we saw later. First of all, the original model was to be a bust of four people, as you can see from the photo of Sculptor's studio model, but later on, when it was necessary to prepare for World War II, due to lack of funds, only the head and a part of Washington's body were made. Even so, the entire process of carving the sculpture as it stands today took fourteen years and four hundred workers, with Gutzon Borglum, who was in charge from the beginning, dying in the middle of the process and handing over the baton to his son, Lincoln Borglum.

There are many interesting aspects in the design and production process of the statue. For example, the eyes of the four statues were hollowed out to create shadows to give them a deep look. The silhouettes of the four men were all carved by hand after precise calculations using explosives to blast out the granite. Because of the terrain, there were many cases where the design had to be changed during the carving process. Most notably, President Jefferson was supposed to be on the far left, but there was not enough granite available on the left, so Jefferson was blown up halfway through the carving and stood behind Washington instead. Jefferson's eyes are still looking upward, but he's actually adjusting his face because he realized that a crack was passing through his nose. As for Washington, he was originally looking straight ahead, but after realizing that this was too dull, he changed the angle of his clothes to look slightly to the right.

Mount rushmore, Presidential, Mt. Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road 9

Presidential trail

From both sides of the Theater Observation Deck, you can connect to the Presidential trail, which is a circular trail that goes to the bottom of the statue hill, but it was not open in winter when we came here, so we only went to Sculptor's Studio. Above Scultor's Studio, there is a Borglum View Terrace, from which you can see the natural scenery of Presidential Hill. There is also a statue of Gutzon Burglum, the sculptor himself.

Mount rushmore, Presidential, Mt. Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road 12

The building below is the Presidential studio, which houses an exhibition on the carving process and the actual model we just saw in the photo at the Visitor Center.

Further reading

Other Nearby Attractions

Thank you for visiting our website.

All the content on this site is original and shared with the purpose of providing valuable information. We sustain the operation of this site through a small amount of advertising and sponsored links. If you click on links to third-party merchants on our site and make purchases, we may receive a portion of the sales as a commission. If you click on links to third-party merchants on our site and make purchases, we may receive a portion of the sales as a commission.

Find more posts on a map Here.

My recommended resources for hotel bookings.

My recommended resources for activity bookings.
Recommended travel credit card for US-based travelers
Travel with just a backpack!
Buy me a coffee and support my contents!

If you are interested in quoting this article or using any part of its content and images on your website or publication, please contact us via email to request permission.