Take in the feel of autumn with the Crazy Horse Volksmarch | Black Hills Travel Blog

Take in the feel of autumn with the Crazy Horse Volksmarch

  • Take in the feel of autumn with the Crazy Horse Volksmarch
    Take in the feel of autumn with the Crazy Horse Volksmarch
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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With the vibrant yellows and neon greens of the changing leaves dancing around, there is no better way to celebrate the changing season than by joining with 5,000 other hikers in a trek up to the face of Crazy Horse Memorial®. This year marks the 6th Annual Autumn Crazy Horse Volksmarch, held in conjunction with the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. The Volksmarch will be held on Sept. 30, 2018 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. See below for more information.

Twice a year, once in the spring and once in the autumn, Crazy Horse visitors are invited to take the 6.2-mile climb up the arm of Crazy Horse, right up to the face. Imagine being able to touch the face of the monument that stands 563 feet high, or nine-stories high. This popular 10K ramble attracts up to nine to ten thousand people annually to the mountainous Native American tribute, making it the most popular hike in the United States.

The annual autumn Volksmarch not only offers visitors a unique view of Crazy Horse Memorial®, but also of the surrounding Black Hills. The hike takes visitors up 500 feet in elevation, for a total height of 6,500 feet, offering them stunning and breathtaking views of the hills, as well as views of the memorial and its surrounding 1,000-acre campus that visitors are otherwise not able to see. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Allow at least two to four hours to finish the trek, which follows hilly dirt trails and gravel work roads. The rugged wooded trip will bring hikers onto the arm of Crazy Horse, turning around directly in front of his face. The face of the memorial was completed on June 3, 1998.  

Crazy Horse Memorial® began to become a reality in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski after being invited by Oglala Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear to design the monument. Ziolkowski originally came to the Black Hills in 1939 to help sculptor Gutzon Borglum design Mount Rushmore. Crazy Horse Memorial® is solely funded by contributions and admission costs, and is not state or federally funded. To this day, Crazy Horse is the world’s largest mountain carving in progress and is still run by the Ziolkowski family, the non-profit corporation, Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, and a Board of Directors. When it is completed, Crazy Horse Memorial® will be the largest sculpture in the world. 


What: 6th Annual Autumn Crazy Horse Volksmarch

When: Sept. 30, 2018

Starting Times: Anytime between 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Registration: No advance registration required. Hikers must check in at the starting point. Hikers must register before 1 p.m. and be off the trail by 4 p.m.

Cost: Admission is waived to volksmarchers. The AVA’s hike fee is $3 per person, regardless of age.

Parking: Free parking is available, but may be some distance from the starting point, so shuttles will be available for outlying parking lots to the start-finish area.


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