So you’re headed to Mount Rushmore National Memorial to see the iconic faces of U.S. presidents!
There is no national park entry fee for Mount Rushmore National Memorial, but there is a cost for the Mount Rushmore parking.
Once you get inside the Mount Rushmore National Memorial park, you’ll start to see signs for the Mount Rushmore parking.
You’ll basically just follow the signs.
Then, there will be a spot where you will take a parking ticket. You won’t pay at this time. You will just grab the ticket. You’ll pay for the ticket separately.
Then you’ll drive ahead to go park in the Mount Rushmore parking garage.
How to pay for the Mount Rushmore parking ticket
To pay for your Mount Rushmore parking ticket, you’ll look for a pay station. It doesn’t matter when or where you pay. You can do this at any time before you exit the parking garage.
You can find a pay station in the parking garage, and you’ll be able to find pay stations at the start of the Mount Rushmore walk.
At the exit of the parking garage, you’ll need to submit a paid ticket in order to leave.
Cost of Mount Rushmore fee in 2021
The Mount Rushmore parking fee is $10 per vehicle. This will give you an annual Mount Rushmore parking pass. This is the ticket that you’ll insert into the exit station as you exit the parking garage, and you’ll get the ticket back so you can go back to Mount Rushmore without paying the parking fee again!
Aside from the parking fee, there is no admissions fee for Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
So the cost to go to Mount Rushmore is $10, since you’ll need to pay for the parking fee.
You can check for current entry fees here.
This was my experience with Mount Rushmore parking in August 2021. Parking situations can change!
More below on going to see the Mount Rushmore president faces!
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See the best of South Dakota outdoors:
- Best places to visit in South Dakota for VIEWS
- Planning a South Dakota camping trip
- Best things to do in the Black Hills for views
- Best things to do in Badlands National Park for views
- Camping cabins in South Dakota state parks
Can you see Mount Rushmore for free?
You can see the faces of all 4 of the Mount Rushmore presidents as you are driving through the main road (only major road) of Mount Rushmore National Memorial without paying this parking fee. But it will be a distant view.
Should you pay the cost to go to Mount Rushmore to get a closer look of the presidents?
So you have seen the pictures of Mount Rushmore.
It is more or less a personal preference of whether or not you think the Mount Rushmore parking fee is worth it.
Do you want the chance to see the Mount Rushmore president faces up close? Or rather, as close as you can get! The faces are BIG, so even though you are not super close, they can still look close!
If yes, then the Mount Rushmore fee will be worth it to you.
The main thing to do after you have parked your car at the Mount Rushmore parking lot is to walk the Avenue of the Flags. As you walk, the faces of the presidents will get closer and closer. Walking the Avenue of the Flags is basically a given, and you will end up on it naturally after parking.
And to get more out of your money, you will want to consider walking the Presidential Trail. This is a walk with a few stairs that will allow you to see the Mount Rushmore president faces from a different angle. This will again give you a closer look compared to if you were just driving through.
Well, all of this actually comes with an *asterisk! As long as the weather is good enough, then you can see the top of Mount Rushmore and the president faces! I went to Mount Rushmore in the rain, and sometimes the clouds obscured the faces.
While you are at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, you will also want to consider visiting the Sculptor’s Studio where you can learn about the process of carving out massive faces into massive rocks. Park rangers give talks throughout the day (May through October) about how the Mount Rushmore president faces came to be in the Black Hills.
If you are already having your doubts about seeing Mount Rushmore, then you may not think it’s worth it. There are certainly people who would pass on paying the fee to see a closer look of the faces.
If you are in the area though, then you might as well at least do a free drive by to see the Mount Rushmore presidents!
And that’s a bit about parking at Mount Rushmore!
If you are interested in Mount Rushmore, you may also be interested in these road trip activities:
- Things to do for views in Mount Rushmore National Memorial
- Can you see Crazy Horse Memorial from the road?
- Things to do in the Black Hills for VIEWS
- Things to do in Badlands National Park
- Things to do in Devils Tower National Monument
- Things to do in Custer State Park
- Things to do in Wind Cave National Park
- How to spend one day in Yellowstone National Park
- Things to do in Black Hills National Forest
- What is up with the Wall Drug Store?
- Things to do in Jewel Cave National Monument
- How to spend one day in Grand Teton National Park
HAPPY DRIVING TO MOUNT RUSHMORE!
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Plan more of your trip to South Dakota and beyond
- Best places to visit in the Badlands and Black Hills
- Quick things to do in Badlands National Park for views
- Things to do in the Black Hills for views
- Things to do in Custer State Park for views of the Black Hills
- Things to do in Mount Rushmore
- Driving from Badlands National Park to Mount Rushmore
- Driving from Mount Rushmore to Yellowstone
- 7 day drive across Wyoming
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