Mount Rushmore & Crazy Horse Memorials, South Dakota

October 12, 2015

There is no entrance fee for Mount Rushmore National Memorial. However, fees are required to park at the memorial.

If you:

1. Think you are paying too much tax

2. Travel on a budget

3. Want to lose some weight

4. All Above

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Profile View

Just leave your vehicle at Profile View and head for a nice 10 minute walk just as the humble author of this newsletter did (he chose 4)

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Profile View Close up

You may even get lucky and see some mountain goats on your way to the monument.

The Black Hills’ original mountain goat herd dates to the 1920s, when six animals were imported from Alberta, Canada, and placed in a zoo in Custer State Park.

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Mountain Goat

They weren’t penned up for long and somehow they escaped.

The goats found a new home in the granite outcroppings in the park and eventually expanded throughout the Alpine areas of the Hills.

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Mountain Goats

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore (Lakota Sioux name: Six Grandfathers) near Keystone, South Dakota.

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Mount Rushmore

Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).

The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres (2.00 sq mi; 5.17 km2) and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level.

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Mount Rushmore Visitor Center

Very close by, the Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument still under construction. It depicts Crazy Horse, an Oglala Lakota warrior, riding a horse and pointing into the distance.

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The memorial was commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota elder, to be sculpted by Korczak Ziolkowski.

Standing Bear grew very angry when he spoke of the broken Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868). On this treaty the US Government promised the Black Hills would belong to the Indians forever.

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The memorial is to be the centerpiece of an educational/cultural center, including a satellite campus of the University of South Dakota.

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The sculpture's final dimensions are planned to be 641 feet (195 m) wide and 563 feet (172 m) high. The head of Crazy Horse will be 87 feet (27 m) high; by comparison, the heads of the four U.S. Presidents at Mount Rushmore are each 60 feet (18 m) high.

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The memorial is a non-profit undertaking, and receives no federal or state funding. The Memorial Foundation charges fees for its visitor centers and earns revenue from its gift shops.

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“Legends in Light” the Crazy Horse Memorial multimedia laser-light show is presented nightly, at dark, from Memorial Day weekend through Native Americans’ Day in October. The laser-light show effectively turns the mountainside into a giant 500-foot “screen” for the spectacular display.

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Legends in Light Laser Show

The Memorial honors Native Americans, and “Legends in Light” dramatizes the story of the rich heritage, living cultures and contributions by Native Americans to our society. The show features colorful animations, sound effects and laser beams choreographed to music.

How to get there

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From Vancouver, find your way to South Dakota

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2,082 km (1.256 mi)
Driving time from Vancouver: Approx. 20 hours