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National Monuments and Memorials

There are over 115 National Monuments and about 30 National Memorials in the US. Several of the most popular are listed below. Click on the name to take a virtual tour.

Mount Rushmore - A sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the sculpture's design and oversaw the project's execution from 1927 to 1941 with the help of his son Lincoln Borglum. The sculpture features the 60-foot heads of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The four presidents were chosen to represent the nation's birth, growth, development, and preservation, respectively. The memorial park covers 1,278.45 acres .

Devils Tower - NE Wyoming. The tower is a monolithic igneous intrusion of volcanic neck rising dramatically 1,267 feet above the surrounding terrain. Proclaimed by Theodore Roosevelt, this was the first national monument. It was a central focal point for the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

Capulin Volcano National Monument - NE New Mexico - an extinct cinder cone volcano and part of the Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field. A paved road spirals gradually around the volcano and visitors can drive up to a parking lot at the rim of the extinct volcano. Hiking trails circle the rim as well as lead down into the mouth of the volcano. The monument was designated in 1916 and is administered by the National Park Service. The volcano is located 3 miles north of the village of Capulin.

Aztec Ruins - NW New Mexico - Preserved structures constructed by the Pueblo Indians nearly a thousand years ago. The national monument lies on the western bank of the Animas River in Aztec, New Mexico, about 12 miles NE of Farmington. Additional Puebloan structures can be found in Salmon Ruins and Heritage Park, about 9 miles south. Archaeological evidence puts the construction of the ruins in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Puebloan-built ruins were dubbed the "Aztec Ruins" by 19th century American settlers who misattributed their construction to the Aztecs.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park - NW New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Farmington, in a remote canyon cut by the Chaco Wash. Containing the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico, the park preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian cultural and historical areas in the United States. Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancestral Puebloans.

Craters of the Moon - Central Idaho - Three major lava fields and about 400 square miles of sagebrush steppe grasslands to cover a total area of 1,117 square miles. The Monument alone covers 53,571 acres. All three lava fields lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 800 feet. There are excellent examples of almost every variety of basaltic lava, as well as tree molds (cavities left by lava-incinerated trees), lava tubes (a type of cave), and many other volcanic features.

Giant Sequoia National Monument - N California - Sequoia National Park's Giant Forest is home to five of the ten biggest trees on earth, including the General Sherman Tree, which at more than 36 feet wide at the base and a staggering 275 ft tall is an absolute titan.


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