The Black Hills of South Dakota are famously home to the larger-than-life carving of four U.S. presidents – the Mount Rushmore National Monument. This must-see destination is just one of many photo-worthy spots in the area! You’ll have plenty of opportunities to refresh your feed with a perfect mix of nature, history, and the city scene. Here are the top 5 places to take photos on your trip to Mount Rushmore.
#1 Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Without a doubt, this mountainside masterpiece takes the top spot. Millions of people from all over the world visit Mount Rushmore each year to take selfies with the gigantic presidents. You’ve seen its grandeur in pictures, but we promise it’s even more impressive in real life. The best areas to photograph Mount Rushmore National Memorial are the Grand View Terrace, which is the most popular photo spot, or from one of the hiking trails for a different perspective. Make your photos uniquely yours with a classic or creative angle.
Pro tip: the best time of day to photograph the monument is during the early morning hours since the mountain faces east toward the sunrise.
#2 The Badlands
With dramatic layered landscape and otherworldly rock formations, The Badlands makes for an epic photo backdrop. Drive the Badlands Loop Road (Highway 240) to cruise past scenic lookouts, steep canyons, and towering spires. Sunrise or sunset are the best times to capture photos or a timelapse video when the sun’s rays dance across the desolate landscape. Do this, and you’ll have Instagram gold!
#3 Crazy Horse Memorial
Considered the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World in Progress’, the Crazy Horse Memorial draws millions of visitors each year who want to witness history being made. Standing 641-feet long and 563-feet tall, the face of the famous war leader dominates the Black Hills landscape. Work began in 1948 and when it’s completed, the monument will be the second largest statue in the world.
#4 Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park, South Dakota
Custer State Park is what Instagram dreams are made of. It rivals many national parks with its beautiful mountains and clear blue waters. Take in the sights from up above with a summit of South Dakota’s tallest peak or soak in the views from Sylvan Lake. Here, you can find stand-up paddleboard (SUP) and kayak rentals to explore this watery backdrop and find the perfect photo opp.
#5 Prairie Berry Winery
Treat yourself to a free tasting of award-winning wines paired with scenic views. Find a sunny spot on the spacious outdoor lawn (dogs are welcome!) or explore rows of grapevines in the vineyard. Hint: make sure to try the most popular wine, Red Ass Rhubarb. It’s their most award-winning wine. Is wine not your thing? If you prefer beer, you’re in luck. Next door you’ll find the Miner Brewing Company with equally spectacular views and plenty of room for kids to play.
For more photo-taking opportunities, check out the historic gold rush town of Deadwood City, chase waterfalls along the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, or visit Wind Cave National Park. Let Under Canvas Mount Rushmore be your hub for outdoor adventure, where you can retreat to your photo-worthy safari-style tent to relax in comfort and style.