In the 1950s and 1960s, local Lakota Sioux elder Benjamin Black Elk (son of medicine man Black Elk, who had been present at the Battle of the Little Bighorn) was known as the “Fifth Face of Mount Rushmore”, posing for photographs with thousands of tourists daily in his native attire.
Black Hills of South Dakota
There is no entrance fee for Mount Rushmore National Memorial. However, fees are required to park at the memorial. Parking fee is for private passenger vehicles, valid for one year from date of purchase. Parking fee for Seniors, 62 and older, is $5 and Active Duty Military parking is free.
Sadly, the Hall is closed to the public (the half-ton slab probably already gave that away). The closest anyone can get is the ruin-like doorway, which recedes several feet into the mountain . It’s nestled behind a rocky outcropping to the right of Lincoln’s head . Inside the entrance, looking out.
The actual carving was done by a team of over 400 men. 20. Remarkably, no one died during construction.
Carved into the southeastern face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest are four gigantic sculptures depicting the faces of U.S. Presidents George Washington , Thomas Jefferson , Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
Mount Rushmore has a secret room that no one can enter. Located behind the facade of Abraham Lincoln, sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed the chamber to hold information for visitors about the monument and information of America’s history from 1776 to 1906.
Why These Four Presidents? George Washington , First President of the United States. Born 1732, died 1799. Thomas Jefferson , Third President of the United States. Born 1743, died 1826. Theodore Roosevelt , 26th President of the United States. Born 1858, died 1919. Abraham Lincoln , 16th President of the United States. Born 1809, died 1865.
Fast Facts : Mount Rushmore Location: Near Rapid City, South Dakota. Artist: Gutzon Borglum. Size: The presidents’ faces are 60 feet high. Material: Granite rock face. Year Started: 1927. Year Completed: 1941. Cost: $989,992.32.
In 1927, with a history of turmoil as a background, a white man living in Connecticut came into the Black Hills and dynamited and drilled the faces of four white men onto Mount Rushmore . The Black Hills in particular are considered sacred ground .
Crazy Horse , South Dakota: Chief Crazy Horse Memorial Off of US 385/16, six miles north of Custer or 17 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore. Sculpture not really visible without paying to enter. Hours: Summer daily 7-8; off-season 8-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Mount Rushmore is very popular, with peak visitation during June, July, and August. The best time to visit , though, is September and October, with April and May as alternatives. Although spring months can be wet and cold, the Hills’ dry weather patterns make fall visits ideal .
Iron Mountain Road, part of the Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway, winds between Mount Rushmore and the junctions of Highway 16A and SD 36. Drivers can view Mount Rushmore in the distance while passing through three rock tunnels on the 17-mile route.