Mount Rushmore National Memorial (Nps)
This epic sculpture features the faces of four exalted American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. South Dakota's Black Hills provide the backdrop for Mount Rushmore, the world's greatest mountain carving. These 60-foot high faces, 500 feet up, look out over a setting of pine, spruce, birch, and aspen in the clear western air.
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began drilling into the 5,725-foot mountain in 1927. Creation of the Shrine of Democracy took 14 years and cost a mere $1 million, though it's now deemed priceless.
The Avenue of Flags leads from the Concession Building to the Grandview Terrace. The flags of the 56 states and territories fly below the memorial. Here, the avenue provides direct and easy access to the Grandview Terrace and Presidential Trail, a half-mile walking trail that offers spectacular views of the mountain sculpture.
The memorial offers interpretive programs, exhibits and a film at the Lincoln Borglum Museum. Rangers provide interpretive walks and talks, including the Evening Sculpture Lighting Ceremony. The lighting program takes place at approximately 9 p.m. nightly (May-September) in the park's amphitheater. The amphitheater is fully accessible via the Avenue of Flags to elevators at the museum.
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