Mount Rushmore Tour Blog by Caravan Tours

Read our Caravan Mount Rushmore travel blog to discover more about what to see and things to do when vacationing at Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park. You’ll also find a wealth of facts and detailed information about Yellowstone Park, Grand Teton National Park, the Mount Rushmore Presidents, Chief Crazy Horse Monument, and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a world-famous attraction located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, United States. This historic site features the faces of four of the most important and influential American presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt – carved into the granite face of a mountain. 

Mount Rushmore draws millions of visitors every year, who come to marvel at the skill of the sculptors and learn about the history and significance of this American icon. However, there is much more to see and do in the area beyond the monument itself. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best things to do in and around Mount Rushmore.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is the centerpiece of the Black Hills region, and the main reason why so many visitors travel to the area. Here are some things to know about visiting the monument:

History and significance: Mount Rushmore was carved over a period of 14 years, from 1927 to 1941, by the sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his team of workers. The monument was designed to honor four of the most important and influential presidents in American history, and it continues to serve as a symbol of American values and patriotism today.

Tips for visiting: To make the most of your visit, it’s recommended that you arrive early in the morning, especially during the peak tourist season (May-September). Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather, as you will be doing a lot of walking. Be sure to check out the museum, which offers exhibits on the history and construction of the monument.

Recommended activities and attractions: In addition to viewing the monument itself, there are many other things to see and do in the area. The evening lighting ceremony is a must-see, featuring a patriotic program and the lighting of the monument. You can also take a scenic drive through the Black Hills or visit nearby attractions like Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, or the town of Deadwood.

In the next sections, we’ll explore some of the best things to do in the area beyond Mount Rushmore itself.

Custer State Park

Custer State Park is a sprawling natural area located just south of Mount Rushmore. The park encompasses over 71,000 acres of scenic landscapes, including rolling hills, forests, and grasslands. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and attractions here:

Activities and Attractions: Custer State Park offers over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as scenic drives through the park. The park’s many lakes and streams offer opportunities for fishing and boating. Horseback riding and rock climbing are also popular activities in the park.

Wildlife: Custer State Park is known for its abundant wildlife. Visitors can see bison, pronghorn, elk, and mountain goats up close by taking a guided wildlife tour or attending one of the park’s many educational programs.

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park is a unique and stunning natural area located about an hour east of Mount Rushmore. Here’s what you need to know about visiting the park:

History and Significance: Badlands National Park is home to a unique landscape of rugged rock formations and deep canyons. The park has been inhabited by various Native American tribes for thousands of years and is now a protected area for visitors to explore.

Activities and Attractions: Badlands National Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. Visitors can explore the park’s many trails and take in the stunning views of the unique landscape. The park also features a number of ranger-led programs and educational exhibits.

Tips for Visiting: Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the park can be hot and dry during the summer months. It’s also important to be aware of any weather conditions, as the park can experience sudden and severe thunderstorms.

In the next section, we’ll explore some other nearby attractions in the area, including the town of Deadwood and the Black Hills National Forest.

Crazy Horse Memorial

The Crazy Horse Memorial is a massive monument located about 17 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore. Here are some things to know about visiting the memorial:

History and Significance: The Crazy Horse Memorial is a work in progress that has been under construction since 1948. The monument is being carved into Thunderhead Mountain and is intended to honor the Oglala Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse. When completed, it will be the largest mountain carving in the world.

Activities and Attractions: Visitors can view the monument from several vantage points and take part in a variety of cultural and educational programs at the site. The memorial features a museum that offers exhibits on Native American history and culture, as well as a gift shop and restaurant.

Tips for Visiting Mount Rushmore: The Crazy Horse Memorial is open year-round, but hours may vary depending on the season. Visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather, as much of the site is outdoors.

Black Hills National Forest

The Black Hills National Forest is a vast and beautiful natural area that covers over 1.2 million acres in southwestern South Dakota. Here are some highlights of the forest:

Activities and Attractions: The Black Hills National Forest offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, camping, and horseback riding. Visitors can also take scenic drives through the forest and visit attractions like the Pactola Reservoir or the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.

Wildlife: The forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including bison, elk, and mountain lions. Visitors can see these animals up close by taking a guided wildlife tour or attending one of the park’s many educational programs.

Tips for Visiting: The Black Hills National Forest is open year-round, but some areas may be closed during the winter months. Visitors should be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially at higher elevations, and bring appropriate clothing and gear.

Other Nearby Attractions

In addition to the attractions we’ve already discussed, there are many other things to see and do in the Mount Rushmore area. Here are a few more attractions if you run out of ideas:

Deadwood: This historic town, located about 45 minutes from Mount Rushmore, offers a glimpse into the Wild West. Visitors can explore the town’s many historic buildings and museums, or try their luck at one of the many casinos.

Mammoth Site: This unique attraction, located in Hot Springs, features a working paleontological dig site where visitors can see the remains of prehistoric mammoths and other animals.

Spearfish Canyon: This scenic canyon is a popular spot for hiking, fishing, and rock climbing. Visitors can take in the stunning views of waterfalls, canyons, and wildlife.


The Mount Rushmore area offers a wealth of things to see and do for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or outdoor recreation, there is something for everyone here. From the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial to the stunning natural beauty of the Black Hills and surrounding areas, this region is truly a must-see destination

Where is Mount Rushmore?

Mount Rushmore presidents were carved out of a granite rock face in the Black Hills of South Dakota, USA.

Who Built Mount Rushmore?

Gutzon Borglum, a master sculpture, conceived and carved Mount Rushmore Memorial. He was assisted by over 400 other rock carvers and explosive experts.

When Was Mount Rushmore Built?

Construction of the Black Hills granite rock faced mountain near Keystone South Dakota began in 1927 when Borglum was 60 years old. The sculptures of the Mount Rushmore presidents were not yet completed when Borglum died in 1941.

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Chief Crazy Horse Monument is a mountain sculpture dedicated to Chief Crazy Horse, an Oglala Lakota (Sioux Indian) warrior.

Chief Crazy Horse Memorial has been continually under construction since 1948.

Once completed, the Crazy Horse South Dakota monument will depict the upper torso of Chief Crazy Horse mounted on his horse, with his arm outstretched and pointing towards the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, the “land of his ancestors.”

Crazy Horse Monument is included as part of our Caravan Mount Rushmore & Yellowstone tour.

To learn more call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826)

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Along with the attractions, Yellowstone Park vacations by Caravan Tours provide tourists with opportunities to also view wildlife where they belong, in the wild.

In fact, you will find more mammals in Yellowstone National Park than can be found in any other US state. It’s not unusual to spot black bears, grizzlies, elk, moose, wolves, mountain lions, mountain goats, and bison. Yellowstone is even home to pelicans and trumpeter swans!

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Fully Guided Tours by Caravan

Old Faithful Geyser

Old Faithful Geyser is the name given to one of the world’s biggest and most regular geysers and is located in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA.

There are over 300 geysers in Yellowstone National Park but Old Faithful Geyser is the most renowned. Old Faithful was named by the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition in 1870 when they first encountered the plume of white water as it shot into the sky about one hundred and twenty-five feet high.

What the Expedition found was an oval-shaped irregular aperture measuring about three feet by seven projecting a stream of hot steamed water into the sky. The Old Faithful geyser eruption schedule is extremely regular, erupting approximately every 30-90 minutes or more and lasting up to 5 minutes. The large geyser was on a mound, which was about thirty feet higher than the rest of the landscape and about five feet from the mound itself was the aperture.

Old Faithful Inn

Adjacent to Old Faithful Geyser is the inn by the same name. Old Faithful Inn was the brainchild of the young architect Robert Reamer who worked for the Great Northern Railway. Today Old Faithful Inn is a historic landmark and is the most popular facility for Yellowstone National Park accommodations.

Old Faithful Inn was constructed in a rustic fashion and comes complete with a huge stone fireplace located in the spacious lobby. The building has since been remodeled. While many additions have been added over time, great care has been taken to keep the original character and ambiance of the Old Faithful Inn intact. The Inn was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

Old Faithful Inn is a rustic hotel with some modern conveniences including a full-service restaurant, a gift shop, a deli, and 327 rooms. Guests are encouraged to reserve their rooms well in advance as the Old Faithful Inn is very popular. The entire hotel is a non-smoking facility that fits harmoniously with the natural park surroundings. Guests should note that there are no radios, air conditioning, televisions, or Internet hook-ups at Old Faithful Inn. Reduced mobility access rooms are available for a limited number of guests.

Old Faithful Inn Construction

What is most unique about the Old Faithful Inn is that it is one of the earliest built log construction buildings in any U.S. park. Old Faithful Inn construction began in 1903 and was finished by 1904.

The material used in its construction was obtained locally and includes lodgepole pine and rhyolite stone. Even as early as 1904 the inn was replete with steam heating and electric lighting. Old Faithful Inn is perhaps the best place for park accommodations near Old Faithful Geyser and upper geyser basin. Not only is the Inn close in proximity to the Old Faithful Geyser but it is also the ideal way to get the entire experience of Yellowstone National Park.

Old Faithful Inn is quite a hardy structure that has withstood an earthquake as well as being nearly damaged in an early fire that raged through Yellowstone. Currently, the structure is updated regularly in keeping with the present-day building codes so as to ensure safety as well as comfort for the guests.

All-Inclusive Tours by Caravan

Old Faithful Geyser and Old Faithful Inn are both included as part of Caravan Tours’ fully-escorted, all-inclusive Mt Rushmore & Yellowstone National Park Tour, which also includes Mammoth hot springs and visits to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, and Grand Teton National Park.

The Yellowstone Park vacation will be fully guided and is an affordably priced 8-day tour.

Visit Caravan’s Yellowstone National Park Tour Reviews page to read what others have said about Old Faithful geyser, the Inn, and this fully guided, all-inclusive tour.

To book a fully guided tour with Caravan Tours, please call us toll-free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826).

Yellowstone National Park attractions are almost too numerous to count, from extraordinary wildlife like grizzlies, elk, and wolves to extraordinary geothermal features like fumaroles, mud pots, and geysers.

The titles “America’s First National Park” and the “World’s First National Park” both belong to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, which was established in 1872. The park is so immense that it is also shared by Montana and Idaho. In fact, at just over 3400 square miles, Yellowstone Park is larger than the state of Rhode Island. It’s not surprising why park tours have become increasingly popular.

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The famous Little Bighorn battlefield is more commonly known today as “Custer’s Last Stand” and the site was commemorated in 1879 as and national cemetery.

The Battle of Little Bighorn, which took place in eastern Montana on the 25th and 26th of June 1876, was part of what has been called the Great Sioux War that occurred between 1876 and 1877.

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Grand Teton National Park was named after the highest peak in the park’s Teton mountain range. Grand Teton Park in Wyoming is situated some 440 kilometers to the northeast of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929 and contains a little over 125,000 hectares of prime ecological land. Its terrain includes mountains, canyons, lakes, and a river valley.

The park is very accessible as it has an airport in nearby Jackson Hole making it very easy and convenient to take advantage of the activities possible at Grand Teton.

Tourists and visitors can find a host of things to do in Grand Teton National Park including outdoor activities like guided nature strolls, slides, bonfire meetings, teepee assemblies, wildlife sightseeing, rafting, mountain climbing, bicycling, boating, fishing, swimming and a whole lot more.

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