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Mount Rushmore National Memorial shrine to democracy

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Photo by South Dakota Department of Tourism

Mount Rushmore National Memorial features the 60-foot high heads of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln carved into a granite mountain in South Dakota’s Black Hills near the town of Keystone. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began drilling into the 5,725-foot mountain in 1927. Creation of the Shrine of Democracy took 14 years and cost a mere $1 million, though it’s now deemed priceless.

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Photo by South Dakota Department of Tourism

The Avenue of Flags at Mount Rushmore leads from the Concession Building to the Grandview Terrace. The flags of the 56 states and territories fly below the memorial. The avenue also provides direct and easy access to the Grandview Terrace and Presidential Trail, a half-mile walking trail that offers spectacular views of the mountain sculpture.

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Photo by South Dakota Department of Tourism

George Washington’s profile on Mount Rushmore National Memorial can be seen from a scenic turnout on South Dakota Highway 244.

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Photo by South Dakota Department of Tourism

Photographers love the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Events like the Black Hills Photo Shootout give photo buffs of all skill levels a chance to learn, meet others with similar interests and create great images.

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Photo by South Dakota Department of Tourism

Helicopter tours with views of Mount Rushmore National Memorial are offered in South Dakota’s Black Hills, so visitors can see the entire complex which includes the Avenue of Flags, walking trails, the Lincoln Borglum Museum and an amphitheater with a nightly lighting program during the summer.

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