About Crazy Horse
Born in 1840 along Rapid Creek, Crazy Horse rose to become one of the most powerful Lakota Indians, second only to Sitting Bull. He remains somewhat of a mystery as he lived a life of solitude. But this lone wolf left an intriguing legacy and inspired sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to create the world’s largest mountain carving, right here in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Crazy Horse has come to represent the freedom of the Native American spirit, roaming the wilds of the Great Plains. The carved mountain monument in his honor is intended to immortalize and commemorate the soul of all native people. It’s a tall order – so much so that its massive size seems fitting. Rising over 563 feet high, Crazy Horse Memorial will be one of the tallest monuments in the world once completed. Work on the giant mountain carving began in 1948, with the face and outline now established as Crazy Horse gazes forever across the Black Hills. Because the ambitious project is far from complete, visiting the Crazy Horse monument site allows you to witness the creation of this amazing achievement.
Visit Crazy Horse Memorial
Crazy Horse Memorial is open daily and year-round, from 8:00 a.m. until dark during the summer months, and 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. during the winter. The visitor complex includes a welcome center, restaurant, theaters, the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center.
Fees: Adults $11, Carload $28, Motorcycles $5 per rider
FREE admission for: Children under 6, Native Americans, Crazy Horse Memorial Storytellers (donors), Military with active-duty ID, Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops in uniform and Custer County residents.
Special Events at Crazy Horse Memorial
Special events throughout the year include:
- Crazy Horse Volksmarch on the first full weekend in June, opening a 10K route to hikers that winds around the base of the mountain and up onto Crazy Horse's outstretched arm.
- Crazy Horse Stampede Rodeo & Gift From Mother Earth Celebration is held mid-June on the grounds, and is sanctioned by both the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association. Held at the same time, the Gift from Mother Earth Celebration highlights the artwork, clothing, and jewelry of Native American and Western artists.
- “Legends in Light” starts at dark and is a good reason to linger under the night sky. During the summer, a nightly laser show dances across the face of the memorial, highlighting the Native American culture.
- In early October, the 10K hiking route opens once again for the Crazy Horse Autumn Volksmarch, giving visitors the chance to experience a woodlands ramble during the popular fall touring season in the Black Hills.
Where is Crazy Horse on the Map?
Crazy Horse Memorial is located on US Highways 16 and 385, 40 miles southwest of Rapid City.
Witness the Construction
There are many blasts throughout the year – four are special, scheduled to honor significant events. All blasts are subject to weather conditions.
- June 26th: The first Crazy Horse Night Blast of the summer is held at dark the night of June 26th to commemorate the Battle of Little Big Horn and celebrate the birthday of Ruth Ziolkowski, wife of the sculptor and key figure in the enduring effort to complete the memorial. The spectacular ceremonial blasts light up the mountain with fireballs and specially designed pyrotechnic features.
- July 4th: Native American Dancers and other activites will take place on July 4th in honor of Independence Day at Crazy Horse Memorial.
- September 6th: A Crazy Horse Night Blast is held September 6th in observance of the 1887 death of Lakota leader Crazy Horse and the birthday of sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski.
- October 10th: A daytime blast takes place on Native American’s Day at Crazy Horse Memorial to honor all the tribes of North America.