Mount Rushmore experiences record visitation Mount Rushmore National Memorial received 2,998,015 total visitors in 2003 representing a new record high level of visitation. The previous record high year was 2002 when a total of approximately 2,922,002 people visited. The year 2003 exceeded 2002 by approximately 76,013 visitors or 2.60 percent. 2003 continued a four year trend of increasing visitation each year beginning with 2000.
The memorial fell short of the three million visitor mark by about 1,985 visitors or about 650 passenger vehicles. At the end of a record October, it appeared as if total visitation could reach 3 million if November and December matched or exceeded 2002 monthly totals, but both month fell slightly short.
Six of the months of 2003 experienced new record high visitation for those month: March, April, June, July, August, and October. In July 2003, a total of approximately 823,193 visitors were counted, the busiest month in the history of the memorial.
Well attended events surrounding Independence Day in July and the busiest ever Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August both contributed to 2003's high total. The busiest day of the year was July 3, when a total of about 38,024 people visited on the day of a large fireworks display, making it the second busiest day in the history of the Memorial.
The average number of total visitors per day throughout the year was about 8,214 and the average number of visitors per month was about 249,835. May and September came the closest to being "average" month for visitation, with the busiest month being July and the least busy month being January.