Not National Parks

Who knew? Mount Rushmore is actually Mount Rushmore National Memorial. And we arrived in the late afternoon, just when the sun was in the wrong spot.

Mount Rushmore

There is a really neat hiking trail that goes down and around in front of Mount Rushmore, and it’s neat to see the different perspectives of these four huge presidents. Do you remember who they are?

Mount Rushmore 2


We walked the trail after we had dinner at the cafeteria, with a view of the Presidents. So far, finding places to eat had been a little tricky, but we were expecting that. We weren’t counting on our hotels providing breakfast, so we had cereal, milk, and Pop Tarts. We also had lunch staples of sliced turkey, cheese, bread and apples. But it was nice to have someone else serve us dinner!

The day had been a long one; we had been hiking and exploring the Badlands just that morning, toured Wind Cave in the afternoon, and walked by Mount Rushmore that evening. We skipped the evening festivities at Mount Rushmore and headed into Keystone to find our hotel for the night.

The next morning, we left South Dakota and drove into Wyoming. Our plan was to swing by Devil’s Tower National Monument (also not a park!) before we continued on our way to Yellowstone.

Devil's Tower 1

Ed and I drove to Yellowstone before we had kids, and Ed fell in love with Devil’s Tower the first time we stopped there. Now that he was able to climb around the rocks with Lily and Emmy, he loved it even more! And there is a bonus at Devil’s Tower: another prairie dog town!

Devil's Tower 2
Climbing around with Lily and Emmy
Devil's Tower selfie
Selfie time!
prairie dog
Little prairie dogs

We decided to eat lunch at a little cafe at the base of the tower, and then we had a long drive across Wyoming to Cody, which is a town just outside of the west entrance to Yellowstone. We were getting closer to our final destination!

signature P.S. The four presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

7 Replies to “Not National Parks”

    1. Ha, I didn’t even notice we were all in pink! Except for Ed, of course, but red is practically dark pink.

      Only experienced rock climbers with rope and gear go up to the top, and you need a permit, so we just scrambled around at the bottom. 🙂
      Ginny Marie recently posted…Not National ParksMy Profile

  1. When contemplating Denali last week, a park ranger who happened to be in Seward with us showed us a picture of nothing but fog and said, “There – that’s the mountain view right now!”
    It reminded me of when we went to Mt. Rushmore, nearly paid to get in, thought to ask about the view, and they said, “Well.. it’s right there!” And pointed to.. nothing.
    Darnit! One day I’ll get back on a clear day.
    Tamara recently posted…Back to School Toolkit With Clorox®My Profile

    1. I was lucky enough to see the mountain on my first visit to Denali! It’s usually behind the clouds, even on a sunny day. I hope some day you’ll get to see both Denali and Mount Rushmore!

  2. I love Mt. Rushmore and hope to visit again because it has been like 40 years since we went there. We did not see the Devil’s Tower, it looks awesome. Aw…..sweet little prairie dog.

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