Two Mountain Carvings in the Black Hills

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There are two mountain carvings within 17 miles of each other in the Black Hills National Forest that are famous and amazing to see.  We’ve visited both before and wanted to again.

The first is Mt Rushmore National Memorial.

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Mt Rushmore National Memorial

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The U.S. Presidents’ heads are approximately 60 feet tall.

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Mt Rushmore was carved with government funding and completed on October 31, 1941.  Overall, the project cost $989,992.32 and took 14 years to finish.

The second mountain carving was started in 1948 and is still under construction, the Crazy Horse Memorial.  It is privately funded and the cost to date has not been disclosed.

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Crazy Horse Memorial

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Original sculpture being carved into the mountain

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Crazy Horse’s head is 87 feet tall

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If you’re interested in reading the history, visit the Crazy Horse Memorial website here.

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This beautiful gate is at the Crazy Horse Memorial, also created by the Korczak Ziolkowski family, depicting 219 animals (past and present) that are indigenous to South Dakota.  It is beautiful, my photos don’t do it justice.

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43 thoughts on “Two Mountain Carvings in the Black Hills

  1. That’s simply amazing! I’ve seen photos of Mt Rushmore before (I admit, I never knew or looked where it was) but none of those images reflected the beauty as much as yours. And the other looks to be even more incredible. Awesome in the truest sense. 😊

    • Thanks, Mike! I actually saw Mt Rushmore a few times as a kid, then us together it & Crazy Horse a few years ago. I was glad we saw them again, they are truly majestic. 😊

  2. Interesting! I did not know about the second one. I remember back in 1950, as a 10 year old on a family trip out west, that we stopped at Mt. Rushmore. It was visible from several turns as we approached. And then back in the 1980’s on a trip with our daughters we also stopped there. It was toward evening and we ate in the cafeteria at a window looking up at the carvings. It was a beautiful scene. Thanks for a trip back down memory lane.

  3. A fitting post for the 4th, Donna. Rushmore is quite the monument, though I know there is a fair amount of controversy around it in regard to the Crazy Horse memorial. Let’s hope the latter gets the funding it deserves.
    Did you ever see Cary Grant in North by Northwest? Great scenes from Rushmore!

  4. I’ve seen the Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument in person and have admired the magnificent work that was done with Rushmore, also the unfinished Crazy Horse Monument ( By the way it will be amazing when completed. Great photos, Donna. πŸ™‚

  5. These are increadibly masterpieces that make me think at the big sculptures in Egypte. I enjoyed looking at your pictures. Intil now I only new about Mount Rushmore from shots on television. Thanks for sharing Donna. It must have been quite an experience to stand in front of these sculputres.

    • Thank you, Rudi, these are incredible to see in person. The actual work to create as well as being 70 years ago is almost mind-blowing. The work done thousands of years ago like in Egypt are almost incomprehensible!

  6. Thanks for capturing the Presidents’ heads from so many different perspectives. I’ve never seen them from some of those angles before. That gate is pretty amazing and will be a great memory aid to future generations. The Crazy Horse Memorial is already impressive and promises to be spectacular when finished. Breathtaking in size and scope!

  7. Seeing both those monuments was the highlight of our stop in South Dakota. It doesn’t look like much more work has been done to the Crazy Horse monument since I was there last and that was decades ago. Money must be very slowly coming in. I wonder if it will be finished in my lifetime? It would be wonderful if so.

    The gate I’d never seen before it looks beautiful.

  8. I, too, like all those angles of Mt. Rushmore and the heads. Your images give a much better sense of the whole thing than I’ve seen.
    That gate is quite a work of art.

  9. Breathtaking photos, Donna. I haven’t been to Mt. Rushmore since I was very young and have only seen photographs of the Crazy Horse monument but never have I seen images as captivating as yours. Thanks also for including the gates, they are magnificent!

    • It is really amazing, but slow in coming about. The family’s foundation rely on donations to continue, cost is $30/car for 2 people. We almost decided to go on a private tour taken to the mountain and go up on it, it was an additional $125 a person. Kinda steep but it was a donation. We didn’t, now I wish we did.

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