Last night, we went to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. If you don't already know, the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial is a massive sculpture carved into the side of a mountain. It was completed in 1941 and features 60-ft.-high granite faces of 4 U.S. presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, who represent the birth, growth, development and preservation of this country.
There's no entrance fee to Mt. Rushmore, but there is a $10 parking fee to park in the garage. We got there about 6:30 pm and stayed until the evening lighting ceremony. I've always wanted to see Mt. Rushmore and it didn't disappoint. It surely is a wonder.
Since we had some time before the night program began, we walked the Presidential Trail. If you decide to do this, be aware that it is a 0.6 mile loop and has 422 stairs. It is a little strenuous because of the stairs, but it does have informative displays along the way and you get several different views of the monument. I highly recommend taking this trail if you can.
The Evening Lighting Ceremony started at 9:00 pm. A ranger goes to the stage and gives a brief history on Mt Rushmore. He then plays some patriotic music for about 15 minutes. He comes back on stage and does a little question and answer game. Next, he plays a 20-minute movie on Mt Rushmore. When the film ends, the sculpture is lighted up and everyone stands to sing the Star Spangled Banner. The ranger then invites the men and women who served our country in the armed forces onto the stage and the flag is lowered. It's really very moving and it's worth it to see the sculpture illuminated in lights.
This was definitely a bucket list. We are so lucky to have a beautiful country and have these national parks and monuments to enjoy.