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Activities

There are many activities available in and around Mount Rushmore National Memorial. See the descriptions below for location and details.

In the Park:

  • Walking/Hiking
  • Junior Ranger Programs
  • Interpretive Programs

Walking/Hiking

A short stroll along the Presidential Trail will provide close access to the sculpture. More intimate views of the artwork are available along the way as either a self- guided or ranger-guided walk. Two other trails lead to Borglum View Terrace and the Sculptor’s Studio: One is a nature trail that starts from the main entryway; the other is a steep trail with uneven steps that starts from Grandview Terrace.

Junior Ranger Programs

Kids between the ages of five and 12 can join this popular program and learn more about the importance of our national parks. Kids can earn Junior Ranger certificates and may purchase patches by completing the fun activities described in the park’s Junior Ranger booklet. For more information, please ask a ranger at the Information Center or Visitor Services.

Interpretive Programs

Ranger-led activities are conducted daily during the summer. Visit the exhibit hall which features interactive exhibits through which you can learn more about the men and methods used to create Mount Rushmore.

Nearby Activities

  • Fishing
  • Technical Climbing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Mountain Biking
  • Geocaching
  • Rockhounding
  • Camping

Fishing

In the land where trout is king, fishing has attained royal status. All headwater streams, including Grizzly Bear Creek near Mount Rushmore, are full of brook trout; Rapid Creek and Spearfish Creek have wild brown trout; and Horsethief Lake below Mount Rushmore and many other Black Hills streams are stocked with rainbow trout. Some good spots to try are Pactola Reservoir and Sheridan Lake in the Black Hills National Forest, and Center and Stockade lakes in Custer State Park.

Technical Climbing

Short, demanding, technical climbs abound in the Black Hills, making it the ideal place to explore different ways to reach individual summits. The Needles-Sylvan Lake district of the Black Hills also offers excellent climbing among its approximately 300 granite spires. Equipment, maps and other information are available at many sports shops in Rapid City.

Horseback Riding

Various private outfitters offer horse rentals in the Black Hills. Gunsel Horse Adventurers also conducts western pack trips, including multi-day trips, in Badlands National Park. For more information, please call (605) 343-7608.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is quickly becoming a popular activity in the Black Hills, with nearly 6,000 miles of fire trails and logging roads available to explore. Though you probably won’t find these roads marked on a map, any gravel road into the Black Hills National Forest such as, Deerfield Road, west of Hill City – will lead you to one. If you need to rent a bike, check in the communities of Rapid City or Custer.

Geocaching

A wave that is sweeping the country. According to the www.geocaching.com there are 160 caches hidden within 45 miles of Rapid City, Custer State Park and dozens more throughout the Black Hills. Geocaching is the widely popular, high-tech outdoors game of treasure hunting that involves the use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to find a “geocache” or “cache.” A typical cache is a small, waterproof container containing a logbook and “treasure,” usually trinkets of little value. Great fun for the entire family!

Rockhounding

The unique geology of the Black Hills ranks it in the top five locations in the United States for variety of minerals. Besides the obvious “rock” gold, rockhounds can find more than 40 different minerals here, including rose quartz, copper, silver and feldspar. Keep your eye out for a Fairburn agate, the state’s official gem, which is rusty brown with a white core that is visible when it’s split in half; they are found in alluvial deposits along the foothills.

Camping

No camping is available at Mount Rushmore. However, just minutes away, the National Forest Service operates a campground at Horsethief Lake. The closest camping resort to the memorial is the KOA Mt. Rushmore, which has camp cabins, tent sites, full hook-ups, showers, a restaurant, a lodge and other amenities. Only five miles away, the resort offers free shuttle service to the sculpture lighting ceremony. Visit www.koakampgrounds.com for more information.

Visit our Nearby Attractions page for more information.

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