A Lakota Sioux warrior, a famed artist, his family and a canvas composed of granite are the elements that comprise the legendary past, present and future of the Crazy Horse Memorial.
Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski began the world’s largest mountain carving in 1948. Members of his family and their supporters are continuing his artistic intent to create a massive statue that will be 641 feet long and 563 feet high. To give that some perspective, the heads at Mount Rushmore National Memorial are each 60 feet high. Workers completed the carved 87½-foot-tall Crazy Horse face in 1998, and have since focused on thinning the remaining mountain to form the 219-foot-high horse’s head.
Crazy Horse Memorial hosts between 1 and 1½ million visitors a year. The number of foreign travelers, particularly group tours from Asia, is increasing.
The Indian Museum of North America, and the adjoining Welcome Center and Native American Educational and Cultural Center, feature more than 12,000 contemporary and historic items, from pre-Colombian to contemporary times. The new Mountain Museum wing helps explain the work behind the scenes, augmenting the introductory “Dynamite & Dreams” movie at the Welcome Center.
Crazy Horse Memorial is open every day, from 7 a.m. to dark during the summer season. Memorial Day weekend through the end of September, the storytelling continues each night at dark with the “Legends in Light” laser-light show projected on the mountain carving.
Visit Crazy Horse while you’re in the Black Hills!