Driving the Needles Highway was a great way to get even more excited to see Mount Rushmore. If that was even necessary. This monument was something none of us had seen in person, and everyone was ready for an adventure.
After some pictures from the Grand Concourse and along the Avenue of the Flags, we moved on into the Visitor Center. This was a relatively small visitor center for the size of the park, and I was a little surprised by the lack of displays. There was a really cool room with some flags on display and a nice viewing area to see the monument.
The kids also took some time here to finish their Jr. Ranger booklets and get their badges. Not surprisingly, Mount Rushmore has a really great Jr. Ranger program. The kids learned a lot about history at this one, and really enjoyed it.
We waited out a bit of a rain storm here, and then headed over to the Sculptor’s Studio. It started raining again while we were in there, so I didn’t get many pictures. It was really crowded and hard to move around. We actually decided to go out before the rain ended to escape the crowd, and hiked a bit in the rain, which was fun and meant that the trail was pretty much our’s to enjoy on our own.
Aren’t they adorable! Oh! I almost forgot to mention! If you are a scout and wear a Class B (or Class A, but I wasn’t packing that!) to Mount Rushmore, you get in for free. The boys are both scouts, and I’m a registered leader, so we all wore Class B shirts. Just a fun little note that might help someone out.
The President’s Trail takes you up close to the monument and is a nice walk. The trail is about a half mile long, and makes a loop beginning and ending at the visitor center. It is fully paved, but there are a lot of stairs, so be prepared. But the views are incredible, so it is definitely worth the time to do!
We spent about 4 hours at Mount Rushmore. I feel like we did everything without being rushed, so it was a good length of time. I would like to go back and see it at night some time, but the timing didn’t work out this trip. We did have a lunch break in the middle of the day, too, which included the must eat meal of South Dakota and some absolutely incredible snacks!