National Mall Monuments

Washington, DC 20442

National Mall Monuments

National Mall Monuments Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Nearly 2 miles in length, anchored by memorials from end to end, the National Mall today embodies the spirit, if not the exact design, of Pierre-Charles L'Enfant's original vision for Washington, D.C: a grand lawn and boulevard that is both a gathering place and a symbol of American democracy.

The National Mall, 2 miles in length, is anchored on the east end by the U.S. Capitol and on the west by the Lincoln Memorial. Halfway between is the Washington Monument. Bounding it to the north is the White House, and to the south, the Jefferson Memorial. It’s easily divided into two parts. The eastern half from the Capitol to the Washington Monument is Museum Row, where more than ten museums line the Mall, including the Smithsonian Institute. The bulk of this hike takes place in the western half of the Mall, the monument core, more formally known as West Potomac Park. The long, skinny Reflecting Pool is the centerpiece; around it stand all the well-known memorials, from the oldest (Washington) to the newest (the World War II Memorial)."

More National Mall Monuments Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Walking Washington D.C. (Wilderness Press)
Barbara J. Saffir
View more trails from this guide book
"Millions of visitors. That’s what you get when you cross “free” with some of the most educational, inspirational, and enjoyable museums on the planet. Sometimes it seems like all the roughly 28 million annual visitors pile into the 12 main museums flanking the grassy rectangle known as the National Mall all at once. But not to worry. Even during tourist season, museum hopping can be fun with a little planning. First, scout out the Smithsonian’s and the National Gallery of Art’s websites ( and to choose the must-sees for your clan, including the current rotating exhibits, lectures, concerts, planetarium shows, and exclusive wingdings like kiddie sleepovers and the summer Folklife Festival. Then make a beeline to your favorites when the doors fling open." Read more
Walking Washington D.C. (Wilderness Press)
Barbara J. Saffir
View more trails from this guide book
"War or peace? This loop delivers both—and it tosses in the CIA’s original home and some impressive headquarters. The Federal Reserve, the Department of the Interior, and other federal agencies live near the Mall’s famous war and peace icons. President Lincoln’s Parthenonlike memorial rules the National Mall. A massive marble Lincoln sits atop a throne at the head of the Mall in tribute to our hero who won the Civil War and ended slavery. Along each side of the Mall are moving memorials to the men and women who fought other conflicts to keep America and its allies free. This trek also features our Revolutionary War roots: the White House–esque headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Peace resides at the Organization of American States’ compound and at the Congressionally chartered U.S. Institute of Peace." Read more
AMC's Best Day Hikes Near Washington, D.C. (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Stephen Mauro and Beth Homicz
View more trails from this guide book
"This hike explores the beauties of nature to be found in many lesser-known, peaceful urban nooks and landscaped gardens along the National Mall." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Washington, D.C. (Falcon Guides)
Louise S. Baxter
View more trails from this guide book
"From the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, the west side of the National Mall is a walk through history. Visit these honored sites and discover a few surprises along the way. Certainly the most-recognized structure in the capital city is the 555-foot-high Washington Monument, built to honor the nation’s first president. You will notice that about one-third of the way up the monument, the color of the marble changes slightly. The construction began in 1848, but was halted during the Civil War. When the builders returned in the 1870s to the same quarry for more marble, enough time had passed to change the color slightly, creating this unusual mark on the obelisk. As you continue past the monument, walk down a hill to the World War II Memorial. Dedicated in 2004, this expansive site pays tribute to those who fought and died in that war. The memorial is surrounded by fifty-six pillars, which represent the District of Columbia and the US states and US territories existing at the time of the war. In the center is a large fountain, a perfect place to sit, especially on a hot day." Read more

National Mall Monuments Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon1 Total
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
This was a very informative and fun way to spend the day. There was no way to see it all in the amount of time we had, but overall it was great. Would love to go back someday and see the rest!
Remove this
Remove this

National Mall Monuments Photos

Trail Information

Trail Type
Skill Level
2 hours
May through November
USGS 7.5 minute series: Washington West, DC/VA/MD
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018