Since 2006, the Mount Rushmore Society has offered self-guided tours to visitors from all over the world.
Debbie Speas, chief operations officer of the Mount Rushmore Society, explains what’s included in a self-guided tour.
“What the tour is, is a recorded guide that visitors can rent. And it takes you to 29 different stops or areas in the park where you can learn about the entire history of Mount Rushmore. You will hear historic recordings from Sculptor Gutzon Borglum, Lincoln Borglum, information about the workers, viewpoints from American Indians and also hear about the visionaries who wanted to build Mount Rushmore,” said Speas.
The tour guides visitors through 29 historically significant and scenic stops, including commemorative areas of the park such as the Avenue of Flags.
“What the significance is of the avenue of flags, there are different areas in the park that are dedicated to, say, President George Washington, why he was chosen to be on Mount Rushmore, and maybe some of the challenges they had in carving that particular figure,” said Speas.
The Mount Rushmore Society offers two different tour options, an audio tour and and multimedia tour. The multimedia tour features a unit with a screen which provides helpful visuals in addition to the audio. By renting the multimedia tour, visitors with limited mobility can comfortably experience the history of Mount Rushmore from a bench in the park, as opposed to making the trek to all 29 stops. The multimedia tour also includes Junior Ranger Quest, an interactive game for children.
The multimedia tour costs $8 per person, while the audio tour costs $6. Both tours are available for purchase at the Mount Rushmore self-guided tours awning just inside the park.
“I guess I would want people to know that in renting the tour you are helping support the Mount Rushmore Society, which in turn gives money back to the National Park Service,” said Speas. “So, the self-guided tour itself was created in partnership with the National Park Service back in 2006. All of the proceeds that we receive from renting this tour goes back to the National Park Service to provide for seasonal rangers and interns here at the park, or replacing the avenue flags and a variety of other projects and programs that the National Park Service needs.”
For more information about self-guided tours, visit the Mount Rushmore Society’s website here.