Is time an issue on all your travels? We can relate, which is why we recommend planning ahead of time. If you plan a trip to Crazy Horse Memorial, this article will provide insight into how long it takes to visit the place.
To get the full experience of the place by visiting all the major attractions, including the mountain carving, the Indian museum, and participating in cultural activities, you may have to give it half a day. However, if there is a time crunch, you can spend less time on each activity or skip one that does not interest you.
To learn more about what to do at Crazy Horse and how to get there, continue reading.
Crazy Horse Memorial
The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain carving in the Black Hills of South Dakota, USA. It is a massive sculpture of the Oglala Lakota warrior riding a horse with his arm outstretched and pointing into the distance. The warrior was named Crazy Horse, hence giving the memorial its name.
The crazy horse memorial is a work in progress. The project was started in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and is still in progress. When completed, the sculpture is expected to be 641 feet wide and 563 feet high, making it the largest mountain carving in the world.
The carving is being created from Thunderhead Mountain, sacred to the Lakota people. The project is privately funded and relies on donations from the public. The memorial holds immense significance for the Native American people.
To learn more about it, watch this video:
The Crazy Horse Memorial | History Traveler Episode 82
How To Get To Crazy Horse Memorial?
If you are planning a trip to the crazy horse memorial, it is advised that you plan ahead of time. Here are some ways to reach your destination: car, tour bus, or airplane.
If you’re coming from Rapid City, take US-16 W/Mount Rushmore Road south for about 25 miles. Then, turn right onto SD-244 W and follow the signs for the Crazy Horse Memorial. The drive takes approximately 40-45 minutes.
By Tour Bus
Several tour companies offer trips to the Crazy Horse Memorial from Rapid City or Mount Rushmore. Check with your hotel or the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau for information on tour operators.
The nearest airport to the Crazy Horse Memorial is Rapid City Regional Airport, which is served by several major airlines. You can rent a car from the airport or take a taxi or shuttle to the memorial.
How Long Does It Take To Visit Crazy Horse Memorial?
While it is important to know how much time you may be expected to spend at a place, it entirely depends on your preferences. The best thing about Crazy Horse Memorial is that you can spend as little or as much time as you wish. Here is a rough estimate of the time needed to see the main attractions.
Viewing the Mountain Carving
The main attraction at the Crazy Horse Memorial is the mountain carving itself. It’s best viewed from the outdoor viewing area, which offers a panoramic view of the sculpture and the surrounding Black Hills. This can take 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how much time you want to spend taking photos and admiring the view.
Visiting the Indian Museum of North America
The museum is on the memorial grounds and features exhibits on Native American history and culture. Exploring the exhibits can take 1-2 hours, depending on your level of interest.
Participating in Cultural Activities
The Crazy Horse Memorial offers several cultural activities, such as a Native American dance performance and a hands-on workshop where you can learn how to make traditional crafts. These activities can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the activity and your level of participation.
If you want to see the mountain carving, visit the museum, and participate in a cultural activity, you should plan to spend at least half a day at the Crazy Horse Memorial. There are many other activities that you can partake in, which we will discuss later; to participate in those, you may have to spend more time.
However, if you need more time, you can still visit the memorial and see the mountain carving in less than an hour. You can pick and choose between activities or choose to spend less time on each. There are no time restrictions on how much time you must spend at the memorial.
Things To Do At Crazy Horse Memorial
You may wonder what you will do when you get to the memorial. Let us help you. Here are some of the top things to do at the monument:
View the Mountain Carving
The memorial’s centerpiece is the mountain carving of Crazy Horse, which is still a work in progress. You can view the carving from several vantage points, including the outdoor viewing deck. If you are visiting when the carving is still going on, you can also observe the carving process.
Visit the Indian Museum of North America
The museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting Native American culture and features exhibits on history, art, and traditions. If native American history interests you, this museum is a perfect place for learning and insight.
Attend a Native American Dance Performance
The memorial offers daily performances of traditional Native American dances, with live music and costumes that reflect the culture. Observing and learning about the significance of these dances can be a great way to seek knowledge about the culture.
Take a Guided Tour
Suppose you wish to survey the area with someone knowledgeable about the place and its importance. In that case, guided tours of the grounds, including the mountain carving and museum exhibits, are also offered. The guides also entertain question-and-answer sessions.
Visit the Sculptor’s Studio
Korczak Ziolkowski, the sculptor who began the Crazy Horse Memorial project, lived and worked on the site for many years. To learn more about him, his motivation for this project, and more, you can tour his studio and see his sketches, tools, and other artifacts.
Learn Traditional Crafts
To take things a step further and get some practical experience. In these hands-on workshops, you can learn traditional Native American crafts, such as beadwork, quillwork, and dreamcatcher making are provided at the memorial.
Explore the Nature Trails
The memorial has several nature trails that wind through the surrounding hills and forests, offering beautiful views of the area. You can use these for meditation or just for exploration.
Crazy Horse is an excellent site for people interested in history or who want to connect with their roots. The visit does not require much time and may consume only half of your day, which, in our opinion, is completely worth it. You will agree with us once you visit.