12151 Avenue of the Chiefs
Custer South Dakota 57730United States
Midwest Living Recommends
The world's largest carving is a must-see while visiting South Dakota. Just don't ask when it will be done.
The carving of Crazy Horse mounted on his war horse began in 1948 by the now deceased Korczak Ziolkowski and continues today by his wife and 10 children. Your visit starts at the Visitor Center with a film about Korczak and the family and the tough conditions they have long endured to work on this memorial to one of the greatest Native American leaders in history. Much of the museum complex, however, focuses on the accomplishments of Korczak, celebrating his talent and vision at every stop. Some tough questions go unanswered, such as when the mammoth carving might actually be finished and why native tribes would ask Korczak, as he claimed, to come carve one of the mountains they held sacred in their natural form. Admission includes exhibits educating visitors about Native American life and culture, although information on Crazy Horse himself is noticeably limited. A shop sells products made by Native Americans, with proceeds benefitting the site. Outside, a large deck provides great views of the memorial, while a restaurant serves up Indian Tacos with lemonade and cookies. From there, take a bus tour to the memorial so you can see the carving up close and enjoy panoramic views of the Black Hills. Admission is $10 for adults or $27 for a carload. The bus trip costs an additional $5.