Black Hills: Mount Rushmore

A trip to the Black Hills would not be complete without a visit to Mount Rushmore. The trip from our campground through the hills to Mount Rushmore is an adventure in itself. The road passes through a series of one lane tunnels blasted through solid granite. Most of these tunnels are accompanied by cool old wooden pigtail bridges. You come out of the tunnel onto the bridge and then the road immediately curves back under the bridge.

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This is our first view of Mount Rushmore from an overlook stop along the road.

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The entrance of Mount Rushmore opens to a flag lined walkway leading to the main view point and visitor center. The visitor center was very interesting covering the construction of the monument, the story of the artist, as well as the history and significance of the subject presidents.  It was a little surprising to discover how many adjustments and modifications were made to the design during construction in order to accommodate the flaws in the mountain. The original design looked markedly different from the final outcome.

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Mount Rushmore in the early evening. The big rock pile in the foreground is all the rock that was blasted and carved away to create the monument.

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There is a nice, mostly boardwalk, trail to walk which takes you to the base of the monument. Reen took some close up pictures from there in which you can see some of the finer details of the carvings. You are supposed to be particularly impressed by the Lincoln’s eyes and the illusion of Teddy Roosevelt’s glasses.

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