Take the IRON MOUNTAIN ROAD that connects Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore. The Road, Tunnels and “Pigtail Bridges” take you slowly winding through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Black Hills. You’ll be driving slowly on this road which is 17 miles long, with 3 tunnels that frame Mount Rushmore as you come out if you are heading North from highway 36. The road is famous for these bridges they call “Pigtails” which allow you to gain or drop altitude very quickly. Think of a pigs tail that circles around in a tight twisting way.
The tunnels are very narrow, around 13 feet, and only about 12 feet tall. As you come out of the tunnels prepare to drive even slower and enjoy the amazing view of Mount Rushmore through the tunnel.
The entrance to the mountain sculpture is decorated with the flags of each state and territory of the United States. There is no entrance fee or pass required to visit, however it is $11.00 to park. The parking pass is good until the end of the year. Not transferable to any other vehicle as they record the license plate upon entering. The is WELL worth the $11.00 charge even if it was only good for one day, in my opinion. The sculpture is something you will never forget once you see in in person. It is as though those forefathers of our country are looking back at all of us. Quite an emotional experience.
Now again, I have to choose just a couple from about 50 different photos to post here… always difficult.
“The meaning Of Mount Rushmore”
“The Four American Presidents carved into the granite of Mount Rushmore were chosen by the sculptor to commemorate the founding, growth, preservation, and development of the United States. They symbolize the principles of liberty and freedom on which the nation was founded. George Washington signifies the struggle for independence and the birth of the Republic; Thomas Jefferson the territorial expansion of the country; Abraham Lincoln the permanent union of the States, and equality for all citizens, and Theodore Roosevelt, the 20th century role of the United States in world affairs and the rights of the common man.”
MOUNT RUSHMORE was the idea of South Dakota State Historian, Doane Robinson. It was an idea to bring tourism to South Dakota in the 1920’s. The original location for a mountain sculpture was The Needles. After consulting with the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, an American Sculptor, he decided that the Mount Rushmore location was more suited due to the structure of the rock. If you want to read more about the History of this monumental project follow this link. http://www.history.com/topics/mount-rushmore