Visit Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest mountain carving.
When the first blast took place to begin work on the Crazy Horse Memorial, five survivors of the Battle of the Little Bighorn watched.
It was June 3, 1948, and sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski got to work. He had been hired by Henry Standing Bear, an Oglala Lakota chief, to build a memorial to honor all Native Americans. But the image being carved in the rock is of Oglala chief Crazy Horse who fought to preserve his peoples’ way of life and led his warriors to victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.
Seventy years after the first blast, you can watch crews drilling, carving and blasting the memorial, which is still under construction. Four of Ziolkowski’s children and some of his 23 grandchildren work on the sculpture, which is the world’s largest monument carving. Located 17 miles from Mount Rushmore, the monument is financed by admission fees and donations. No federal or state funds are accepted.
The memorial also features extensive exhibits on American Indian culture and a gift shop full of distinctive art by local artisans and exclusive Crazy Horse gifts. The Laughing Water Restaurant serves Native American tacos, Tatunka stew, and other family favorites. Entertainment and lectures on the history and culture of North American Indians are scheduled weekly.
Families can opt for a special viewing at the foot of the carving and an evening laser-light show under the beautiful Black Hills skies. Additionally, individuals and families interested in becoming partners in the memorial’s progress can experience a breathtaking view of the mountain carving at the top, where they meet Crazy Horse face-to-face.
Crazy Horse Memorial is open daily and located on Crazy Horse Memorial Highway, US 16/385, between Hill City and Custer, just 17 miles from Mt. Rushmore.
Biannual Volksmarch at Crazy Horse
The Crazy Horse Volksmarch is the most popular organized hike in America with up to 15,000 hikers. It is a 10k (6.2-mile hike ending with a walk up the giant stone memorial. In spring, join the hike in June. In fall, hike in October, scheduled concurrently with the Custer State Park Buffalo Round-up. crazyhorsememorial.org/crazy-horse-volksmarch.html
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Crazy Horse Memorial