Hiking 3 to 5 miles; semi-rugged terrain, maximum elevation 5,350 feet. Hike will require sturdy hiking shoes or boots, a hat, sun screen, day pack and leak-proof water bottle. Minimal motorcoach time today.
In the Lodge dining facility, choose what you like from the tasty breakfast buffet with hot and cold cereals, waffles with fruit topping, hard-boiled eggs, rotating main dishes, pastries, bagels, yogurt, fruit, coffee, tea, milk, and an assortment of juices.
Under the guidance of our expert Group Leader, we’ll explore the United States’ Shrine of Democracy – Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the creator of Mount Rushmore, wrote: “The purpose of the memorial is to communicate the founding, expansion, preservation, and unification of the United States with colossal statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.” Borglum intended his monumental sculpture to be not only a memorial to four of our greatest Presidents, but a Shrine to Democracy. Why these four? Washington led the nascent United States to win independence from Great Britain. Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence. Roosevelt the “trust buster” ensured the rights of working people and was instrumental in building the Panama Canal. Lincoln led the country through the Civil War. Borglum began work in 1927 and continued until his death in 1941, when his son, Lincoln Borglum, took it on and ended work later that year. If you wish, feel free to expand your exploration of Mount Rushmore with an independent short walk on a portion of the Presidential Trail to Borglum’s studio. Interpretive signage along the way will illuminate more about the monument, its construction, and the artist whose vision produced one of America’s most iconic symbols.
At the Lodge, the lunch buffet includes a choice of soups or salads and sandwiches plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
With our Group Leader, we will hike one of the many beautiful trails in the Black Hills and learn more about the ecology, history, flora, fauna and wildlife of this unique area.