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Friday, October 19, 2012

Crazy Horse Memorial Annual Volksmarch, June 2011

We didn't plan it, but we found out during our trip to South Dakota in 2011 that we happened to be in town at the only time of year visitors are allowed to go to the top of Crazy Horse Memorial. The Volksmarch makes its way through the forest and then up the road to the nine story tall face of the Native American Chief. The hike is 6.2 miles in total length and it generally draws up to 15,000 participants.  Admission to the memorial is free for participants, but they encourage donations.

We were on a mission to get up there before it got too crowded at the top, and at times I even broke into an uphill jog.  Some of the participants were not "crazy" about that!  As we got closer to the top the fatigue from all that hard work at elevation threatened to get to us, but we pushed on through.

From there, getting down was easy, and pretty short too! Most of the hike is getting up through the woods.  When we were done we met my parents down at the visitor center and we all went inside to enjoy the museum together.

The museum contains collections of art and artifacts reflecting the diverse histories and cultures of the American Indian people, information about the carving of the memorial itself, and Native American artisans with their wares are scattered throughout the facility. 

Don't judge my father too harshly for his cute yellow purse, I swear he was just holding it for my mom!  If you're planning a trip to South Dakota to see Crazy Horse, consider going for the Volksmarch, I know we're glad we got to experience it!


  1. I hope you've been doing more Volksmarches. You can find them at I have been Volksmarching for, um, over 20 years. I do it to earn pins and badges and to attend festivals, learn about new towns, universities, gardens. It's just fun and sometimes educational.


  2. Having grown up in the Black Hills, I watched the slow progress of Crazy Horse mountain during my youth. I'm happy to see it's progressed quite a bit since then. I did the volksmarch in 2010 (here's the link on my blog:
    My parents, who are well in their 70s, walk the volksmarch every year. I don't think they've missed one yet. Thanks for posting this - brings back memories!

  3. I can easily look this up myself, but what month is this held and is it the same weekend every year? I'd read about it from other folks and hope to do it myself. Looks like lots of fun!

    1. It was in May, we just stumbled upon it so I don't know the details of their annual event schedule. I know there was a link on the Crazy Horse website when I looked it up after the event. I think I'll take TravelBug Susan's advice and see where else they hold them!

    2. I just checked and it's the first weekend in June, must have been very early in June that year!

  4. That is sooo cool. I would love to do that.