South Dakota August 24, 2017
The One Incredible Attraction Everyone In South Dakota Must Visit At Least Once
South Dakota’s Black Hills are full of must-see attractions. Here’s one that’s not even completed yet, but still draws in more than a million visitors annually with its majestic beauty.
The Crazy Horse Memorial was the vision of Henry Standing Bear (an Oglala Lakota Chief) and sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski.
They wanted to create not just a carving in the rock of Crazy Horse, but a memorial that creates "harmony and reconciliation among all people and nations."
The first blast on the mountain occurred on June 3, 1948. The work on the memorial is ongoing. Though Ziolkowski died in 1982, four of his children and many of his grandchildren still work on the memorial. No Federal funding is used on this project - it's all financed through private donations and admissions.
Start your visit at the Visitors Center, where you can view a historic video that offers details about the memorial.
This 40,000-square foot center is the entrance to the museums and the memorial. From here, you'll catch a bus to the base of the memorial.
Visit the Indian Museum of North America to learn more about Crazy Horse and the traditions and customs of Native Americans.
The extensive collection of artifacts was donated by many individuals.
The gift shop has tons of unique items, including many hand-crafted treasures made by Native Americans.
You'll also find books about Native American culture and the life of Crazy Horse.
Admire the Nature Gates, which contain the depictions of 219 animals that are or were native to South Dakota.
Here, you can see the statue that represents what the Crazy Horse Memorial will look like when it's completed, along with the actual memorial in the background.
When it's completed, the entire carving will be 641 feet long and 563 feet high.
This sign shows the outline of the memorial, along with the planned dimensions.
It's hard to grasp how majestic this memorial will be when it's completed, but once you visit in person you'll begin to see how incredible this project truly is.
The face of Crazy Horse that has already emerged from the rock is fierce and determined.
The face was completed on June 3, 1988. It is 87 feet, six inches.
Dine at the Laughing Water Restaurant.
If you've never visited the Crazy Horse Memorial, make plans to do so soon!
Have you visited the Crazy Horse Memorial? Tell us about it!