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Does It Cost Money to See Mount Rushmore?

Does It Cost Money to See Mount Rushmore?

Mount Rushmore National Monument is among the most well-known tourist attractions in the United States. This national memorial, which is situated in South Dakota’s Black Hills, receives 2 million visitors each year. But how much does it cost to see Mount Rushmore?

The National Memorial at Mount Rushmore is free to see. Parking at the monument, however, costs money. Private passenger car parking is charged and is good for one year from the date of purchase. Active Duty Military parking is free, and seniors (62 years of age and over) must pay $5 to park. Regular car parking costs $10.

Keep reading below for more information on this topic.

How Much Does It Cost to See Mount Rushmore?

The Mount Rushmore National Monument is free to visit. Parking at the concession-run parking facility costs money. Cash or the majority of credit cards can be used to pay these parking costs. The parking lot and memorial gardens of Mount Rushmore are typically open from 5:00 AM until 11:00 PM. Opening hours for the visitor center are 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM.

The parking facility at the monument has plenty of space. The National Park Service and Xanterra Travel Collection have a concession agreement that governs the operation of the parking site. 

A parking ticket allows non-commercial vehicles unfettered access to the monument for one year from the date of purchase. The top and middle levels of parking garages include designated disabled parking spaces.

For more information about Mount Rushmore, watch this video below:

What to Look For at Mount Rushmore

Here are some of the things you should look for when visiting Mount Rushmore:

The Avenue of the Flags

The memorial’s entrance lies along the Avenue of the Flags, which provides a stunning sight. 56 flags that symbolize the 50 states, one district, three territories, and two commonwealths of the United States of America, together with the dates that each was founded or brought into the union, can be seen as you walk around the exhibit.

Grand View Terrace

This is the major viewing place for the wonderfully carved faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt in the granite rocks!

Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center

Use the elevator to descend underneath the Grand View Terrace to reach the Visitor Center and museum. Visit the museum, take in a 14-minute documentary about Mount Rushmore, and browse the gift shop. Everything is totally free.

The Presidential Trail

It is an observational trail that spans a half mile in length. It begins at the Grand View Terrace and leads you down to the mountain’s foot for better memorial watching.

The Carvers’ Café

It is the sole dining establishment on the property. It offers a wide variety of foods, including burgers, sandwiches, and soups, as well as stunning views of the memorial as you dine. We advise you to have a seat on the patio if the weather is pleasant!

Mount Rushmore Gift Shop

Pick up a memento on your way out. From t-shirts to novels and all that lies between, they have it all.

Best Time of Year to Go to Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills region are quite crowded during the summer. Although June through August are high tourist months, and hotels may fill up fast, visiting Mount Rushmore is still quite doable. This time of year is pleasant, and the Black Hills region is really gorgeous, with much to see and do.

The spring or fall are fantastic times to travel if your holiday plans aren’t based on academic calendars. The weather is often still mild in September, making it the ideal travel time. September also tends to get less busy. 

Although Mount Rushmore is always open (except on Christmas Day), you should be aware that a number of establishments in Keystone, Hill City, and Custer have seasonal operations and begin to close in the middle of September and October. Entertainment and eating options are available year-round; however, fewer are available during winter.

Best Time of the Day to See Mount Rushmore

Here are Mt. Rushmore’s hours of operation:

  • October 1, 2022 – March 11, 2023: 5 am to 9 pm
  • March 12, 2023 – September 30, 2023: 5 am to 11 pm
  • October 1, 2023 – to March 9, 2024: 5 am to 9 pm

Even on Christmas, Mount Rushmore is accessible every day of the year. However, all structures will be shut down on Christmas Day, but the park will be open.

Particularly on weekends, lunchtime traffic is expected to be the busiest. The least crowded time to visit Mount Rushmore is in the morning. Plan your trip to Mount Rushmore in the evening to see the monument after dark or catch the evening lighting ceremony. 

Ensure you know when the Lighting Ceremony is before you arrive.

How Much Time Do You Need to See Mount Rushmore?

Mount Rushmore may be seen in as little as 30 minutes, even on the most rushed of trips. You may easily ascend the Avenue of the Flags, enjoy the scenery from the Grand Terrace, and take pictures and selfies while doing so.

In the timeframe of one to two hours, you may see the Grand View Terrace, stroll along the Presidential Trail, watch a documentary in the Visitor Center detailing the building of Mount Rushmore, and indulge in some ice cream at Carver’s Marketplace.

Join a ranger program when you have more time. Several events are held during the day.

Should You Tour Mount Rushmore?

Consider visiting Mount Rushmore on a tour to get the most out of your trip.

Every day, visitors can go on a tour led by a park ranger. They last 15 to 30 minutes and include subjects including the creation and history of Mount Rushmore. The Information Center has posted schedules (not available on the website).

You may also opt for an audio tour or a multimedia tour of Mount Rushmore if you don’t want to be led around by a park ranger. They cost between $6 and $8. 

With a skilled guide, explore Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument, and Custer State Park on this private full-day trip.


Your trip to the Black Hills will be made memorable by Mount Rushmore National Monument. It’s an incredible work of art and engineering dedicated to four legendary American presidents. Don’t pass up the chance to see it, particularly since it’s free.