Not far from Mount Rushmore is a memorial whose stated mission is “to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of the North American Indians”. The Crazy Horse Memorial is not federally or state funded and relies on donations and admission fees to the museum to continue work on the mountain. A carload of people can get in for $28. So, not free, but really not bad when you consider where the money is going.
We did not have a ton of time left after spending most of the day at Mount Rushmore, but wanted to makes sure we saw Crazy Horse while we were here. They did have an unofficial Jr. Ranger Program as well that the kids participated in while we looked around the museum. I didn’t take any pictures in the museum. I don’t remember if they were not allowed or if I was worried about camera battery. Based on a lack of pictures the rest of the day, I’m guessing my battery was low.
The mountain is what you are really coming to see though, and I did take pictures of that.
You can see the construction equipment, which gives you an idea of the sheer size of the mountain. At the time we were there (August, 2016), Crazy Horse’s face was the only thing that had been carved. The first blast on the mountain took place in 1948, so that gives you an idea of how long it will take to finish.
The artists, working from drawings of the original sculptor, spray paint the picture on the side of the mountain, giving the workers an outline to work from. You can see the horse’s head painted in these pictures.
At the observation deck of the museum, there is a scale model of the sculpture to give you an idea of what the finished project will look like.
Obviously a long way left to go!
After leaving Crazy Horse, we were headed out of South Dakota. We made a quick unplanned stop for a picnic and Jr. Ranger badges at Wind Cave National Park, which we didn’t even know was nearby. We plan to come back at tour the caves on another trip.
Off to Nebraska!