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“In the middle of nowhere”

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
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Mt Rushmore Lighting Ceremony Tour
Ranked #1 of 21 things to do in Keystone
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created this famous mountainside carving of the visages of four great American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
Fairport, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“In the middle of nowhere”
Reviewed 15 November 2013

Well worth the trip out to the Dakotas. This was September, the weather was changing and it not only rained but had a hailstorm so heavy that it looked like it had snowed!

The monument is not as big as you think it will be from the photographs you see. But it is a feat of engineering when you find out how they created it, and was wonderful to drive around and still be able to see the monument from so far away.

They have an evening ceremony of lighting the monument and that is also worth seeing.

If you like your souvenirs , there is a very well equipped gift shop to cater for every persons pocket - and not all of it was the sort of 'junk' you have to buy to keep the kids happy with.

The restaurant was not so inviting, and many people had arrived late thinking they would eat there and wait for the evening ceremony - we ended up going for a drive to another venue before returning.

The Americans do monuments well and the National park service in particular give an excellent service, look after the monuments well and have so much information about the history of the monument.

Well worth the trip out there.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Peuta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2013

When we arrived in Keystone we could see the illuminated Memorial from our hotel. Next day it was our first stop.

Not too busy despite it being a gloriously hot day with blue sky. Emerging from the car park we could just see the memorial beyond the Avenue of State Flags. As we got closer the entire memorial was revealed and it was impressive. If you have the time, and energy, take the opportunity to walk the track to the foot of the sculpture.

The visitor centre and shop is also worth a look. Pleasantly surprised with the restaurant. Busy and self service but clean and the food was good and not too pricey. We had buffalo chilli which was delicious.

After leaving drive a little farther on and you will see a profile view of Washington.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
67 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Excellent Memorial”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

The memorial is worth a visit. We were there in September with friends and really enjoyed seeing the memorial during the day and we returned at night for the lighting and flag lowering ceremony. Worth the visit.

Visited September 2013
Thank nmp66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A nice, off-season visit”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

We drove 800 miles roundtrip during the Veteran's Day weekend just to see Mt. Rushmore; it was well worth it. Judging by the two parking structures, this Monument, just like other National Parks, must be crazy-busy during the summer months. There were maybe 100-150 people there during our visit. Some of the high-season activities were not available, but the lack of crowds made for a much more personal experience. The exhibits in the Visitor Center were interesting and educational. The construction of the Monument is a wonderful tale.

At this time of year (mid-November) the best viewing is early in the morning; by 10:30 a.m. the Jefferson and Roosevelt faces are receding into the shadows. Spotlights illuminate the Monument from 5-5:30 p.m. It is worth the return trip to see this. Under this illumination, Theodore Roosevelt appears to be looking down and to his right toward the Visitor Center. It was an eerie effect.

I don't understand the "I thought it would be bigger" comments. Each face is 60 feet tall (that's a sculpture the size of a 6-story building) and the Monument is the size of a mountain. What exactly are people expecting? Maybe it is the scale of the surrounding mountain landscape that makes it appear smaller than it is.

We stayed in Keystone, SD which is a very convenient 2 miles away. Most of the businesses are closed for the season in November, but one hotel and a couple of restaurants are all that we needed.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baker, Nevada
Level Contributor
53 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2013

We visited Oct 2012. it was a repeat visit. It was great because we arrived in the area the night before and was able to see it lighted at night while driving by. We stopped to take picts. We returned the next day to view it in the day light. It was also fun to take the walk way around and view each head up close from different angles. And see some of the other exhibits. We have collected the spoons and postcards for years but was happy to also start a new collection large coins that you can get with the heads in, copper, gold or silver

Visited December 2012
Thank PatsyB2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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