Plan Your Trip to See the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills

If you’re searching for fun Black Hills things to do on your next getaway, there’s one attraction that we truly believe no one should miss: the Crazy Horse Memorial. This destination is one of the most important historical sites throughout the Black Hills. It is a great place for the whole family to learn a bit more about the area.

During your stay in one of our cabin rentals in Rapid City or our other Black Hills cabins, be sure to take the time to visit this incredible location.

Crazy Horse Memorial
Photo from Pexels

History of the Crazy Horse Memorial

Construction began on the Crazy Horse Memorial in 1948, and to this day, it remains unfinished. However, that’s actually one of the reasons why it’s so popular! If the original plan is executed, this work-in-progress will stand as the world’s second tallest statue, only behind the Statue of Unity in India. It’s also the biggest mountain carving globally and is considered the Eighth Wonder of the World in progress.

The monument honors Crazy Horse, a Native American leader for the Oglala Lakota tribe. He took part in famous military actions like the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Fetterman Fight throughout the mid-1800s and was fatally wounded in 1877. He fought valiantly to protect Native American territory from white American settlers, making him one of the most prominent Native American historical figures. The monument was originally commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, an elder of the Lakota tribe, and was designed by Korczak Ziolkowski.

Plan Your Trip to Crazy Horse

lake in crazy horse

To start your Black Hills day trips from Rapid City to the Crazy Horse Memorial, start by heading south on US-16 W/Mt. Rushmore Road toward Kansas City Street and follow US-16 W for about 23 miles. Make a left onto US-16 W/US-385 S and continue to follow this road for about 10 miles. You’ll then turn left onto Avenue of the Chiefs and then, after another mile, turn right. You’ll find the Crazy Horse Memorial after 1.3 more miles of driving. Parking is available at the facility. Admission costs $30 per car with 1 or 2 people or $24 per car of 2+ people per vehicle. (Note that these are winter rates, and prices may increase in the summer.)

This is one of the best family-friendly activities in the Black Hills, so feel free to bring the whole gang! You can even bring your pet, as long as it’s kept on a leash. 

When you arrive, you’ll first be struck by the massive size of the memorial. For now, only Crazy Horse’s head is complete (it was finished in 1998). When everything is complete, the memorial is expected to be 641 feet long and 563 feet high. To put that in perspective, the heads of Mount Rushmore are only 60 feet high! In addition to Crazy Horse himself, a horse will also be carved into the mountain in the future.

In addition to the memorial itself, guests are welcome to explore the museums of the attraction, full of Native American artwork and artifacts. There are even live lectures held that feature visiting and local Native American artisans, dancers, and more throughout the summer months. Since you’ll be outside and walking around a lot, it’s recommended to wear solid footwear and bring a hat or sunglasses in the warmer months.

Plan Your Visit

If you’re looking for a nearby place to stay while you admire the Crazy Horse Memorial, we suggest our Rapid City cabin rentals, just under an hour’s drive away! Plus, you’ll be just down the road from all the other fun things to do in the Black Hills. Contact us today to learn more!