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Mt Rushmore National Memorial gets you up close with four of the most iconic figures in U.S. history: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The monument was completed in 1941 and quickly emerged as one of the most photographed landmarks in the United States. Gazing up at the 60-foot-high sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore, you'll feel a surge of patriotism and pride.
RV camping near Mt Rushmore National Memorial is a fantastic way to maximize your time at the fabled United States landmark, as well as explore the picturesque Black Hills region. Need a set of wheels? You'll find a huge selection of RV rentals in Pennington County, ranging from compact campers to family-sized rigs. With a portable home, you'll also enjoy the freedom to visit other South Dakota gems like Badlands National Park.
Every year, around three million people flock to admire the awe-inspiring Mt Rushmore National Memorial. Visit the museum to read up on the backgrounds of each influential president and gain a deeper appreciation for the monument. Each man was handpicked for their contribution to shaping the face of the United States of America, with a focus on birth, growth, development, and preservation. Entrance to the memorial is via the colorful Avenue of Flags which is flanked by the banners of all the country's states and territories. The avenue leads to the Grand View Terrace lookout, where you'll get uninterrupted views of the presidents.
On the far left, George Washington is immortalized as the first president of the United States and the father of American democracy. He led U.S. soldiers to victory in the American Revolutionary War and liberated the country from the rule of Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, was chosen for his contributions to the Declaration of Independence. He also rallied to purchase the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, a move that increased the footprint of the United States by 50%.
Theodore Roosevelt was chosen for his courageous leadership during a period of immense economic growth, as well as his commitment to championing the working class through corporate and labor reforms. He was also a passionate conservationist and helped establish a myriad of national parks. On the far right is Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. He led the country through the turbulent Civil War, successfully preserved the Union, and most importantly, led a fearless campaign to abolish slavery.
The Presidential Trail skirts the base of Mt Rushmore and gets you up close with the larger-than-life sculptures. The flat terrain and paved surface make it both stroller and wheelchair-friendly. In peak season, the park runs excellent ranger programs, including evening sessions where you'll sing the national anthem, watch the memorial be illuminated, and take part in a flag-folding demonstration. Kids love the fun-filled Junior Ranger Program.
RV camping near Mt Rushmore National Memorial offers a unique chance to sleep under the watchful gaze of four of the most revered U.S. presidents in history. While camping and overnight parking isn't allowed at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, you'll find plenty of options within the Black Hills region. Black Hills National Forest is a 40-minute drive from Mt Rushmore and offers 30 campgrounds set under a canopy of aspens, burr oaks, and birches. The popular Horsethief Lake Campground is less than two miles from Mount Rushmore and is operated by the US Forest Service. Choose from 36 non-electric sites surrounded by towering pines.
Custer State Park is another excellent option, with several different campgrounds to choose from. For a full-service RV camping experience, head to Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch. You'll love facilities like heated pools, spas, mini-golf, and the 25-foot climbing wall. Dine at the full-service restaurant and dig into a syrup-drenched breakfast in the pancake tent. The infectious vacation atmosphere makes this KOA a top pick for families.
RV camping near Mt Rushmore National Memorial immerses you in the beautiful Black Hills region of South Dakota. Custer State Park is a 30-minute drive south and will dazzle you with rolling plains, jagged granite peaks, and glassy lakes. Keep an eye out for the infamous bison herds, which roam across the park's 71,000-acre footprint. Horsethief Lake is another popular recreation area, with swimming, fishing, and paddling just some of the outdoor activities on offer. If you love hiking, don't miss the chance to summit Black Elk Peak. The Harney Peak Trail takes you up to the highest mountain in South Dakota and should take around four to five hours to complete. With an elevation of more than 7,000 feet, you'll be rewarded with sweeping views over the Black Hills region.
In Rapid City, kids love the famous Chuck Wagon Supper Shows, as well as attractions like the Reptile Gardens and Dinosaur Park. Rapid City is also a great place to rent an RV near Mt Rushmore National Memorial. Visit in the summer and you could catch a legendary Mt Rushmore Rodeo show. For something more relaxing, head to Palmer Gulch Stables and sign up for a scenic horseback ride through the hills.