Wednesday, April 12, 2017


As I mentioned previously we stayed at Echo Valley nearly two weeks, staying over the Labor Day holiday.  In that time frame we visited the famous faces of Mt. Rushmore.  If you have never been to Rushmore you definitely should visit at least once.  This was our second time and we enjoyed it.

However, if you are thinking you can visit it for free using your National Parks Pass you are in for a surprise. Entering the park is free, parking is not.  There are free parking areas, a long walk down the highway in small lots, with no shuttle service. 

Considering how much walking you do in the park you just might want to save your energy and cough up the parking fee of $10 ($5 for seniors) per car load. 

 Once you are in the parking garage there is still a bit of a walk with lots of stairs to get into the main area of the park. There is, however, an elevator you can take as well.

A note for folks who must use walkers, wheel chairs or ecvs.  There are handicapped accessible ramps for most of the park, but a few areas are not easily accessible without going out of your way. 
In fact there is a lower parking lot for handicapped parking near the artist’s studio, but again it is not that close.  So make sure your batteries are well charged for your ecvs, and you might want to take it in small bursts of energy to do the park.  It isn’t exactly level…

What is there to see and do in the park?  Well there are several good views of the faces,

there is an interpretive center, and an amphitheater

 and scenery, lots of beautiful scenery.

There is also a restaurant and an ice cream shop.

In the restaurant videos about the national park system are streaming on a loop.  Our lunch we had there was actually pretty good.  They had burgers and full blown Sunday type dinners both available, in air conditioned comfort,

In the ice cream shop we learned that Thomas Jefferson was the first to bring an actual written recipe for ice cream to the US.  Of course they were selling copies of his original handwritten recipe in both establishments and gift shop. 

I imagine you could carry a picnic lunch in as well, but other than the outdoor dining tables at the restaurant and ice cream shop I saw no picnic areas on the grounds.  I may have just missed them.
All in all our weather was perfect for the revisit to this park and we left feeling we had learned more about it, the history of ice cream and exhausted from our walk.

As we enjoyed the stunning scenery on our way back to camp at Echo Valley we were both pleased we had included this stop in our visit. 

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