Mount Rushmore – An Easy Day Trip from Hot Springs
When you stay in Hot Springs there are so many options for you. One of the most popular attractions in the southern Black Hills is Mount Rushmore. Only about an hour drive north of Hot Springs, Mount Rushmore is easily incorporated into a day trip.
You can choose to drive highway 385 to Custer and then take highway 16 and 244 to the monument. This would be the fastest way to get to Mount Rushmore. If you want to take your time on the way to the monument you could take highway 87 and see parts of Wind Cave National Park, Custer State Park and the Needles Highway. This will make for a very full day as the pace through the parks is much slower and you will want to stop to take pictures. The Needles Highway is really something to experience. There are very sharp curves and one lane tunnels through solid rock. You have to watch the big pickup trucks go through the tunnels and scrape their side view mirrors on the rock. The tunnels are that narrow.
Whichever way to get to Mount Rushmore you will be amazed as you approach this amazing monument. It took a crew of around 400 men 14 years to carve the 60 foot high faces. Dynamite was the tool of choice for carving these spectacular sculptures. It is hard to believe the amount ot detail they we able to achieve.
Check out these panaramas we took at the monument:
The monument is open every day but Christmas Day. During the summer expect large crowds as around 3 million people visit Mount Rushmore every year.
The first time I visited Mount Rushmore was during the Sturgis motorcycle rally. The place was full of motorcycles and scruffy looking bikers. I remember seeing a young family hurrying away from the monument. The mom looked pretty stressed out with a child in each hand walking through the crowd of bikers. I sure she had a few choice words for her husbands trip planning. If you are intimidated by bikers don’t visit during the Sturgis Rally. Not only are the Black Hills full of motorcycles but the rates at the hotels go through the roof during the rally in early August.
For more information on the Monument click HERE.
Captain Dan’s Tips: The parking fees are not cheap and they don’t take credit cards. CASH or check. If you have a National Park Pass this does not cover the parking fees. If you have a motorhome or large vehicle the rate was $50 to park recently. Plan at least a couple of hours for your visit so you can see the exhibits and walk the trails under the faces. Don’t worry about the bikers, they are mostly a friendly bunch.