Guide To Visiting Mount Rushmore And Nearby Attractions

Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills are iconic attractions. When visiting South Dakota, there are many impressive national parks and landmarks to see. If you are visiting the Badlands or the most advertised roadside attraction known as Wall Drug, stopping off at Mount Rushmore is a must.


Technically, there are a couple of different ways that you can see Mount Rushmore. I read a few months before going myself that you could actually just drive on the road that passes the entrance and get some good (and free) views. That is exactly what we did. While we didn’t get up super close and personal with the monument, we definitely were close enough to get some good photos and views.

You also have the option of seeing Mount Rushmore in the more traditional way, by paying the fee. The fee is not actually for entering the park itself, but rather for parking. You can expect to pay $11 per vehicle to use the parking lot. If you choose to go inside of the monument area, you will find things such as the Avenue of Flags. If you are visiting between May and September, each evening there is a sculpture lighting ceremony.



After taking in plenty of Mount Rushmore views, I saw a sign for something that I remember seeing on the Travel Channel when I was a child. It is called the “Cosmos Mystery Area.” Basically, it is a cabin that was built in 1952 and is full of optical illusions. For example, you can switch spots with someone who is standing directly beside you on level ground and go from being shorter to taller than them. It is $11 per person for a 30-minute tour. Whether you are into optical illusions or not, it is still a unique area with an interesting history behind it. Definitely something to check out if you are already in the area!


Also located within the Black Hills, you will find Devils Tower National Monument. This geological formation is the basis for many Native American legends and is well worth a drive by. The park that surrounds it was actually the nation’s first national monument as claimed by president Roosevelt back in 1906.

Along with the above mentioned and the Badlands, this is an area you could easily explore for a week or more. These locations are great for any outdoor lover and also for those who just want to see some of the most stunning areas that the United States has to offer.

Have you visited any of these areas? Which was your favorite?

About voyagesofmine

Travels, Photography and Reviews from Knoxville, TN

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26 Comments on “Guide To Visiting Mount Rushmore And Nearby Attractions”

  1. I can see why Montana is called Big Sky Country. So beautiful! It’s definitely on my list! And the pizza restaurant reminds me of the PIzza Hut lunch buffets I used to have years ago. They’ve stopped it since – I guess they were losing money from it!

    1. I thought the exact same thing as far as big sky country, it’s so true! You’ll definitely love it, the views are amazing! I’d say you’re right about the buffet losing money, but I was definitely glad we tried this place! πŸ™‚

  2. Mt. Rushmore is on our “places to visit” list, but like you, I can’t see spending all that money. I’m glad to know you can get good views from the roadside for free! Thank you!

  3. I found that Crazy Horse was way better than Mount Rushmore and it’s only 27 km from Mount Rushmore. It’s bigger than Rushmore as well – he arm of Crazy Horse will be 263 feet (80 m) long and the head 87 feet high; by comparison, the heads of the four U.S. Presidents at Mount Rushmore are each 60 feet high.

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