Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial now and futur

"My lands are where my dead lie buried"
Crazy Horse 1877

Another MUST SEE when you are in the area. Crazy Horse Memorial is a huge mountain carving much like Mount Rushmore. The big difference, of course, being the subject. This Monument is being built as a tribute to the Native Americans, whose land this once was.

We think this is as important to visit and experience as Mount Rushmore, but for very different reasons.The Crazy Horse Memorial is special in it's own very special way.

The Native Americans were here when the Gold Rush began. The dreams of being rich enticed the early pioneers and miners. Their greed ended up pushing the Native American Indians right out of the area. This resulted in a broken treaty with the US Government.

This Memorial to Crazy Horse was set up as a tribute to all of the Native Americans that lost their lives, and their way of life to "progress". It is a very informative and touching place to visit. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to look over all the artifacts, *pictures and the numerous displays.

This is a large complex, and they have it filled up with amazing and wonderful things to look at, and learn from!

*Side Note: We love the history found in the pictures at Wall Drug too, if you are a big history buff, you will want to visit there also.

Fast Facts

  • Crazy Horse Memorial is the largest mountain carving IN PROCESS!!
  • It is claimed that the ENTIRE Mount Rushmore Monument can fit
    in the hole in Crazy Horses arm!
  • Unlike Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial takes no Federal or State money. This enterprise is funded entirely on donations, entrance fees and gift shop purchases
  • Over 1 Million people visit each year
  • The annual Volksmarch has seen as many as 15,000 people attend
  • Crazy Horse Memorial project began in 1948
  • Crazy Horse's head is 87 Ft High
  • The entire carving is 641 Ft Wide and 563 Ft High
  • Korczak Ziolkowski was the founder and original sculptor of this project. He passed away in 1982, his wife and children now run the entire project
  • Korczak Ziolkowski worked under Gutzon Borglum on the Mount Rushmore Monument before starting Crazy Horse

Favorites to see here

  • Native American artifacts (Teepee's, sweatlodge, sculptures, movie memorabilia)
  • Original cabin the the sculptor and his large family lived in (this is very interesting to see, look on the wall and find the mirror that is made entirely from 1 piece of wood, there are NO seams whatsoever to be found!)
  • The Native American Educational and Cultural Center (In the lower level of this building you will find a wooden carved canoe and a fantastic display of arrow heads and tools. The entire wall structure is made out of rocks. Really cool area to visit and explore)
  • 20 Minute video Dynamite and Dreams
  • Native American Vendors with their jewelry etc. for sale (One of the only places in the entire area to find vendors such as this)
  • Native American Dancers (See video in right side bar)

Best time to visit!

Because this is a family owned operation, 2 days out of the year you can get up close and personal with the carving. If you tried this at Mount Rushmore you will get jailed!
If you are visiting the first full weekend in June, then you can experience a treat! The annual Volksmarch happens during this weekend, and it is the only chance you can have to get to the face of Crazy Horse! This is a FANTASTIC opportunity, and it consists of a 6.2 mile hike. You can cheat and hire a bus to take you most of the way though! If you make the hike, you will be glad to know that the Boyscouts have snack stations along the way (water too!), porta-potties and paramedics..hey, just in case!

Don't Miss

Crazy Horse Big Night Blast

Make sure to check their website before you come to check the calendar of events. There are many special events planned throughout the year.
Our favorites are:

  • "Legends in Light" night program (We think this night program is more entertaining then the Mount Rushmore lighting ceremony. If our schedule only allowed for one, this is the one we would choose)
  • The Night Blasts (Only happens 2x a year!)
  • The Volksmarch to the face of the Monument (Only happens once a year!)

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Hi, I am Jo. Welcome!
I have lived and played in the Black Hills all my life. I grew up camping, fishing, hiking, kickin it up at the Motorcycle Rallies and touring our area attractions. I want to show you the locals Black Hills, our secret  places to play, visit and eat! Please stay and browse around, and come back often too, I am always adding new reviews. Thanks for stopping by.

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