Mount Rushmore National Monument

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

  US National Parks

VISIT Mount Rushmore National Memorial:

Mount Rushmore was created by Gutzon Borglum between 1927-1941 as a way to commemorate the four most influential presidents up until that point. The 60-foot busts were carved on the granite face of a mountain in the Black Hills, however, funding problems made the project take much longer than was originally expected. In order from right-to-left, the presidents carved into the mountainside are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

Where is Mount Rushmore?

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located in Keystone, South Dakota, which is in the southwest corner of the state. Rapid City, SD is the largest metro area to the memorial park.

Controversial History of Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore was built on sacred Native American land and sculpted by a man with ties to the Ku Klux Klan. These are the two primary reasons Mount Rushmore National Memorial was fraught with controversy even before it was completed in 1941.

Before this land became known as Mount Rushmore, the Lakota called this granite formation Tunkasila Sakpe Paha, or Six Grandfathers Mountain. By the time the 1800’s came around, Euro-American settlers began pushing into the area, igniting fights between the new settlers, and those that have used the land for hundreds of years. Unfortunately for the Lakota tribe, gold was eventually discovered on the land in 1877, which only hastened the eventual takeover by the US federal government. This land, that was stolen by the US, eventually became the site of Mount Rushmore a half-century later.

Park Details

Mount Rushmore National Memorial was established on March 3, 1925.

Address 13000 Highway 244, Keystone, SD, 57751
Phone605 574-2523
HoursAll year, 7 days a week, 5:00 am to 11:00 pm (except for Christmas)
Entrance Fee$10 per vehicle, $5 for Seniors
Learn MoreOfficial Website

When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is the 36th most visited park in the country.

We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial is.

Our data shows the best months to visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial are May, October, September & June.

Park Visits26,85921,43848,37861,347202,329421,212591,186472,341368,023187,87187,74937,135
Avg Temp353645546576848373584435
Max Temp525363738391959388766351
Avg Temp192027354556636252392719
Min Temp-306172840504832195-4
Temperature values in °F; Precipitation in Inches

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Road Trips

Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Mount Rushmore National Memorial is visited.

Trip NameTrip MilesTrip Days
Devils Tower, Wind Cave, Mt. Rushmore to Badlands4447

Other Nearby National Park Sites

From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Jewel Cave National Monument21 mi
Wind Cave National Park22 mi
Badlands National Park49 mi
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site78 mi
Devils Tower National Monument79 mi
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument102 mi
Fort Laramie National Historic Site127 mi
Scotts Bluff National Monument142 mi
Niobrara National Scenic River172 mi
Theodore Roosevelt National Park213 mi

Nearby Campsites & RV Parks

If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Mount Rushmore National Memorial, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.

NameDetailsMiles Away
Wrinkled RockKeystone, SD more 1 miles
Grizzly BearKeystone, SD more 1 miles
Grizzly Creek PrimativeKeystone, SD more 1 miles
Horsethief LakeKeystone, SD more 2 miles
Center Lake - Custer State ParkCuster, SD more 6 miles
Sylvan Lake - Custer State ParkCuster, SD more 6 miles
Sheridan LakeHill City, SD more 6 miles
OrevilleHill City, SD more 8 miles
Grace Coolidge - Custer State ParkCuster, SD more 8 miles
Bismarck LakeCuster, SD more 8 miles

Nearest Ski Resorts

For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Mount Rushmore National Memorial:

NameLocationSummitDifficulty ScoreDistance
Ski MysticHill City, SD6,850 ft32%16 mi
Terry PeakLead, SD7,100 ft39%36 mi

Nearest Airports

When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Mount Rushmore National Memorial, we've listed the closest airports in the area.

Large Airports

A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Denver International AirportDENDenver, CO284 mi
Medium Airports

A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Rapid City Regional AirportRAPRapid City, SD23 mi
Gillette Campbell County AirportGCCGillette, WY108 mi
Western Neb. Rgnl/William B. Heilig AirportBFFScottsbluff, NE139 mi
Pierre Regional AirportPIRPierre, SD161 mi
Casper-Natrona County International AirportCPRCasper, WY165 mi
Sheridan County AirportSHRSheridan, WY184 mi
Cheyenne Regional Jerry Olson FieldCYSCheyenne, WY200 mi

Credits: Campground data provided by Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.