Mt. Rushmore Half Marathon

Sep. 18, 2021

Keystone, SD

A race with presidential views! You're going to love this course with gorgeous views of Mt. Rushmore and the surrounding Black Hills! The hill climbing on this course is no joke, but the payoff is incredible. Are you up for the challenge?

Quick Info

Race Expo/Bib Pickup

Friday, September 17, 2021
(bib pickup available until 7pm)
Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch (map)

Half Marathon

Saturday, September 18, 2021
6:30 am – 10:30 am
Keystone, SD
Course Type: Point-to-point
Stroller friendly? Yes
Disability friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? No
Weather: 73° / 52°F


  • Early: $109 open – Mar. 28, 2021
  • Regular: $129 Mar. 29 – Jun. 27
  • Late: $149 Jun. 28 – Race Expo

*Entries are limited and this race may sell out. If the race sells out, registration will close regardless of registration period.

Refund Policy
Refunds available during:
•Early Registration: yes ($10 fee)
•Regular Registration: yes ($10 fee). 
•Late Registration: NO 
*Refunds not available due to weather

Deferral, Race Transfer, and Bib Transfer any time through the race expo ($20 fee). Full policy details.

Want to use a deferred credit? 
Login to RunSignup, click Deferrals, Complete Deferments

Travel Info

Fly Into
Rapid City (RAP) - 40 min.
Sioux Falls (FSD) - 5 hrs.
Denver (DEN) - 6 hrs.

Driving Directions
Google Maps Directions

We recommend looking for lodging in or near Keystone, SD.

Experience the Mt. Rushmore Half Marathon

Explore the Bandlands and Black Hills

Plan Your Getaway

The Race Expo and Starting line will be at the Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch. The finish line will be at the Borglum Story Museum in Keystone, SD.

Race Overview

This is a challenging course with lots of gorgeous views of Mt. Rushmore and the surrounding Black Hills!

This course has a lot of uphill but you'll be richly rewarded with amazing views and a final downhill stretch before the finish! You'll absolutely love this course!

The course will start from Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch (driving directions) and finishing at the Borglum Story Museum in Keystone. The first 3 miles are a well-packed dirt road and then will turn onto pavement.

Parking will be available at both the start and finish with shuttles running in between before and after the race. More details will be provided to registrants.

Expand to view Course Map & Elevation Profile

Travel Overview

We recommend staying in or near Keystone, SD. There should be plenty of hotels, Airbnbs, and campsites available nearby.

If you're flying in, look for flights into Rapid City (RAP - 40 minutes from Keystone). Other options include Sioux Falls Regional (FSD - 5 hrs.) and Denver Int'l (DEN - 6 hrs.).

Keystone, SD is going to be the best place to stay during your visit to Mt. Rushmore. It's close to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park!

Check out the Keystone tourism directory or try one of the great properties at Rushmore Reservations.

"Everything about this race was fantastic! From signing up to crossing the finish line, everything was smooth, organized, and well done. I originally signed up for the 2018 Mount Rushmore Half, but a work conflict made that impossible, so the wonderful people at Vacation Races let me defer to this year. (Thank you!!!) The race info emailed out the week before the race included EVERYTHING I needed to know, which was incredibly helpful for planning the trip from CO to SD.

As for the course, the first 7-ish miles are really difficult, but the views are stunning and the aid stations are spaced out well. (Also, I was 21 weeks pregnant during this race- thank you for having porta potties at every aid station! 🙂 Much appreciated! haha)

The finish in Keystone was great, volunteers were awesome, and the post race snack box was the best (so many gluten free snacks!) I’ve ever gotten. Truly, I loved everything about this race. I mean, even the version of the National Anthem played before the race was amazing. I will definitely be signing up for another Vacation Races event! Can’t recommend enough!!"

Free Custom Training Program for this Race!

No matter your skill level, when you're pushing your limits it's nice to have a little guidance. We're excited to offer FREE training programs for all skill levels.
Check it out ≫

2020 race postponed to 2021: The 2021 event will likely be our final Mount Rushmore Half.
We are big fans of the Black Hills and epic scenery in South Dakota, but we haven't been able to generate much interest in this race. When we hold this event in 2021, it will probably be our final race there. If you have your heart set on running this race, we highly encourage you to make plans on being there in 2021.

Registration Periods

Early: $109 Now – Mar. 28, 2021
Regular: $129 Mar. 29 – Jun. 27
Late: $149 Jun. 28 – Race Expo

*There is a limited number of entries to each race, and this event may sell out. If the event is sold out, registration will close regardless of registration period.



This is likely going to be the last year for the Mt. Rushmore half to be held on an annual basis,
so sign up and get your spot in this race!

Charity Bibs

Want to run for a great cause? Fundraise for your chosen race and your registration fee could be waived. All funds go to Wander Project to support efforts in and around the communities that host our events. We primarily fund three project areas including: preservation and conservation of public lands; education around local ecology and stewardship; and the promotion of health and well-being. Learn more about Charity Bibs here!

Race Deferment & Credit

You can manage your deferred credit by logging in to RunSignup, clicking Deferrals, and Complete Deferment. From there you can transfer into another race.

Don't Miss a Deadline!

Get a heads-up about new events, price jumps, etc. PLUS you're entered in a monthly prize drawing for race entries, VR swag, running gear, and more!

The courses are always incredible

Have done Rocky Mtn twice and Yosemite once and can second that you guys are great. So much easier to deal with than a certain Mouse controlled race series and the courses are always incredible. Looking forward to Teton in June!

Big Fat Bug Face Baby-Eating O'Brien
Yosemite & Rocky Mtn. Runner

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