Mount Rushmore National Monument
This is part of a series where we visit America’s beautiful National Parks and Monuments.
To say that Mount Rushmore is one of the most iconic national monuments is an understatement. Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore stands majestically watching over the plains to the south.
The stone carvings are huge. The faces are about 60 feet high and they can be seen from high altitude in airliners flying by. Carving these tributes to American presidents was a monumental (pardon the pun) task. It took nearly 400 men some fourteen years to carve the faces in stone.
Dynamite was used to remove most of the estimated 450,000 lbs of stone from the mountain. Jackhammers and hand chisels did the finish work. Most of the work was done by miners who were put out of work during the Great Depression. Interestingly enough, inspite of the dangerous setting and conditions, not one worker was killed during the 14 year process of carving the monument.
If you are planning a road trip to the northern part of the western US, this is one stop you should consider making. The Black Hills area is a destination all by itself and offers all kinds of recreation and entertainment for all ages.
This is a very popular destination. Nearly 3 million people visit every year. Do yourself a favor and try to visit in the shoulder seasons when the family vacations and of course the Sturgis Motorcycle rally are dominating the area. We have visited Mount Rushmore while attending the Sturgis Rally and it is a zoo. It can be kind of intimidating for non-biker types.
One time I remember walking from the parking ramp to the monument in a sea of bikers in leathers looking all tough. This of course was during the Sturgis Rally. There in front of me was a young family. Mom with a toddler in her arms and an older sibling holding her hand giving dad the look. You know the look. Clearly she was not a happy camper being in the midst of all the bikers. How could her husband have brought the family there during the rally?