Rapid City/Black Hills, SD

Mount Rushmore: Presidential Trail

Eric Friedebach (CC BY 3.0)

We have to admit that this run is more of a novelty than a great workout, but it’s impossible to discuss tourism in the Black Hills without a mention of Mount Rushmore. If you do visit these popular carvings memorializing U.S. presidents, you can also run the “Presidential Trail” encircling the Visitors Center. Starting from the parking area, the lollipop-shaped loop is about 1 mile. There is some mild elevation gain in the form of stairs and ramps, nice wooded areas, and great views of Mount Rushmore above. A couple of caveats: Entrance to the park is technically free, but you will have to pay to park. Also, the path can be very busy with distracted tourists. If you plan on running, it may be worth it to get there early to avoid the crowds.

The road outside the park, Highway 244, is runnable in that there’s a decent shoulder. However, it’s wide and there can be a lot of car traffic. Also, very hilly!

Essentials
  • 1 mile (1.6 km)
  • 137 feet
  • Parking Area
  • Rt. 244