Several years ago, we traveled to Mount Rushmore on one of our extended summer RV trips. It was a memorable experience for all, including our two teen-aged children, who were 13 and 14 at the time. Our ultimate destination was Yellowstone National Park, but we made a point to stop and spend a night in South Dakota on the way so that we could visit Mount Rushmore.
As we neared our destination, we headed into Custer State Park and enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch at a picnic site along the Park road. While RVing to Mount Rushmore, we drove through the meandering roads in the park and encountered burros, bison and three elk! Now the kids were paying attention. We settled in for the night, eagerly anticipating our visit to the Mount Rushmore monument the next day.
The next morning, bright and early, found us heading into the monument as soon as it opened. Immediately we were impressed by the grand entrance as we walked under the stone archway and down the aisle of flags waving overhead. While the experience and monument were immediately impressive and humbling, the remainder of our visit proved to be entertaining as well.
We took advantage of an entertaining and very informative ranger-led hike, at which we learned a great deal about the history and construction of the monument. Though it is not immediately apparent, there are trails below and behind the carved figures. Our teens greatly enjoyed learning about the creation process as well as scampering among the rocks after the hike was over. It was certainly time well-spent; it gave them a bit of history in addition to a bit of a physical challenge and a chance to stretch their legs at the same time.
Check out the Good Sam Camping Website for a listing of terrific RV parks that can be your home away from home on your Mount Rushmore visit!