Supporting Learning: The Most Educational Elevator Ride in Town

Mar 9, 2020Park Story

The Washington Monument reopened to the public last fall after a multi-year $10.785 million improvement project. In addition to offering an unparalleled view of our nation’s capital, the 500’ elevator ride presents a unique opportunity for visitors to learn about the famed obelisk and its history.

A donation from Eastern National, the parent company of America’s National Parks™, helped the National Park Service turn the two-minute descent into the most educational elevator ride in town. The funds, generated by visitor purchases at America’s National Parks™ stores, made it possible for the park service to incorporate twelve high-quality interpretive videos into a single loop. Meeting this operational requirement keeps the videos compatible with the newly refurbished elevator system.

After passing through a new state-of-the-art security screening process, visitors take a 70-second express ascent to the 500’ observation deck. From the deck, visitors can take in views from the north, west, south, and east before heading down one level to the museum area to catch the return elevator and glimpse some of the commemorative stones on the extended descent.

Tickets are required to tour the Washington Monument. Free same-day tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the America’s National Parks™ Store at the Washington Monument Lodge. Advance tickets can be reserved for a small fee at

This donation was made possible by visitor purchases at America’s National Parks™ stores throughout the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Shop in-person or at the America’s National Parks™ Online Store to support more park experiences like this one.

New Ways to Celebrate Passport® 35

New Ways to Celebrate Passport® 35

Let’s get this party started! Since 1986, the Passport To Your National Parks® program has helped millions of visitors discover America’s treasures, while helping to protect them for future generations. Now visitors can celebrate 35 years of Passport with two...

read more