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Rush to Mt. Rushmore for Midwest Family Vacation Fun

Updated on June 11, 2008
Photo: JimBowen0306,Flickr
Photo: JimBowen0306,Flickr

Mt. Rushmore Facts:

  • The sculpture on Mt. Rushmore took 14 years and $1 million to build.
  • Each head on Mt. Rushmore is as tall as a six-story building.
  • If there were same-scaled people for those heads, they'd be 465 feet tall.
  • Over 800 million pounds of rock was taken from the mountain during carving.
  • Workers on the mountain had to climb 506 steps every day to get to work.

Photo: PatHawks,Flickr
Photo: PatHawks,Flickr

Has the ridiculous price of gas prices made you want to stay close to home this year? How about a trip to one of the many great places to visit in the Midwest. Midwest family vacations take you to the city, the country, and all points in between. The best Midwest vacation is the one that engages your family and offers something for everyone. If you'd like to combine gorgeous scenery with a solid American history lesson, take a trip to Mt. Rushmore. It's easily one of the best places to visit in the Midwest.

So Many Things to Do at Mt. Rushmore

The Mount Rushmore Memorial is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, just outside Rapid City. In addition to the beauty of the mountain art, visitors to the memorial site will see many animals and plants of the region. Visitors should also plan to take in the interpretive programs offered, as well as spend some time among the exhibits. There is an orientation film that's good to watch before going on the Rangers led interpretive walks. Getting a background will make the walks and talks more valuable. Make sure to ask about the afternoon children's activities and studio talks.

Whatever you do, don't miss the Evening Sculpture Lighting Ceremony. It happens at about 9 p.m. every night from May through September in the amphitheater, which you can access by way of the Avenue of Flags to elevators at the museum.

Check in with the Visitor Center or call the park at (605) 574-2523 for times of any activities.

History of Mt. Rushmore

Mount Rushmore presents the faces of four well-known American presidents in epic scale. This mountain sculpture symbolizes our nation's history, determination and lasting achievements. Some people call Mt. Rushmore a shrine of democracy. Between 1927 and 1941, Gutzon Borglum (starting at the age of 60!) coordinated 400 workers to sculpt the 60-foot busts of four of our finest presidents.

  • George Washington, the father of our country represents independence, freedom, and our Constitution.
  • Thomas Jefferson is honored on the mountain because he authored the Declaration of Independence and greatly expanded the nation through the Louisiana Purchase.
  • Theodore Roosevelt is perhaps best known for his commitment to the Panama Canal, which linked the oceans and therefore further connected the East and West.
  • Abraham Lincoln was is depicted because he preserved the Union of our nation and upheld the ideals of liberty and equality.

Hence, let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the works of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away.

~John Gutzon Borglum

Photo: Alex1961,Flickr
Photo: Alex1961,Flickr

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