Volksmarch Crazy Horse Memorial Event
Why Attend the Volksmarch Crazy Horse Memorial in 2019?
The Crazy Horse Volksmarch is a uniquely organized hike in the United States. The one-of-a-kind hiking event takes place every year. The event provides the public a chance to view the ongoing progress of the gigantic carving of Crazy Horse Memorial Mountain.
Sponsored by the Black Hill Chapter of the American Volkssport Association (AVA), the event is organized by the Crazy Horse Memorial.
The event is one of the most popular hikes in the US attracting more than 15,000 hikers every year.
The Crazy Horse Memorial: An Overview
The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument situated in the Black Hills in the Custer County in South Dakota. The monument is under construction with special night blast events.
Construction of the Crazy Horse Memorial had begun on the monument in 1948. The monument represents the vision of the Polish-American sculptor named Korczak Ziolkowski.
Upon his death, he had reportedly told his wife, “You must work on the mountain—but go slowly so you do it right.” That’s the reason for the slow progress.
But this hasn’t stopped the unfinished memorial mountain in being a tourist hot spot.
When finished, it will depict the Oglala Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse, riding a horse and pointing into the distance.
About the Valiant Warrior — Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse was an Oglala Sioux Lakota war leader who had died on September 5, 1877. He was at the center of many battles as the conflicts escalated between the US and Lakota warriors. The warrior had taken arms due to the growing white settlers after the establishment of military forts in the Great Plains.
In the battle of Rosebud Creek, the local warrior had led a force of nearly 1,200 Cheyenne and Oglala warriors against General George Crook. He was successful in turning back the advance towards which cut off reinforcement to another famous wild west legend, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. A week later Crazy Horse teamed up with Sitting Bull another local leader in the victorious battle of Little BigHorn called the Greasy Grass by Native Americans. Today this area is known as “Custer's Last Stand”
After the defeat of George A Custer’s troops, the US Army decided to hit back at the Lakota warrior and his tribe with the aim of total surrender.
While Sitting Bull escaped to Canada, Crazy Horse continued to fight. He died at Fort Robinson in Nebraska while fighting valiantly against the US troops. You can view the vision quest of the famed Native American warrior here.
Crazy Horse Volksmarch — Journey to the Top
The Crazy Horse Volksmarch involves a hike to the top of the Crazy Horse Memorial Mountain. The adventurous hike takes you through the scenic Black Hills woodlands located below the gigantic masterpiece.
Take your time and journey to the top at a steady pace. The true experience is at the top of the mountain where the massive 87-foot memorial greets visitors.
The Volksmarch represents the only time in the year when the public can walk up to the Crazy Horse monument.
You can see in complete detail the work in progress in carving the mountain monument. The monument is expected to be nearly 641 feet in length and 563 feet in height. When completed, it will be the largest sculpture in the world.
When you reach the top of the monument, you can see up close the amazing craftsmanship involved in turning the Black Hills granite into a gigantic sculpture. But that’s not all.
Attending the event also gives you the opportunity to view the surrounding lands. These lands are considered sacred to the local Lakota American Indian tribe.
An Exciting Group Event
The Crazy Horse Volksmarch is the ideal group event. It gives once-in-a-year chance to hike together to reach the top of the colossal mountain craving.
From family members and friends to corporate staff, everyone can experience the adventure of hiking to the top, and also getting back down. They can walk hand-in-hand towards the top of the outstretched sculpture-in-progress.
Hikers can follow gravel work roads and dirt trails as they go to the top of the Crazy Horse Mountain Carving. One of the highlights of the walk is reaching the Arm of Crazy Horse that is being carved right in front of the Crazy Horse face.
You can watch the work in progress in front of the nine-foot-tall face that was finished two decades ago.
Details of the Crazy Horse Volksmarch Event
Attending the Volksmarch won’t cost you much. You can take part in the exciting hiking adventure by paying just $3. That’s all!
But you can donate food for the hard-working sculptors if you are feeling generous.
The Laughing Water Restaurant is located near the Crazy Horse memorial. The restaurant opens at 6 am serving breakfast. Hikers can also enjoy lunch and dinner at the restaurant. Coffee lovers will be pleased to know that the drink is served free here.
No need to register in advance for the hike. You can start the hike by checking in at the upper parking area of the Memorial.
But you must check in before 1 pm and leave the trail before 4 pm. The start-finish timing is between 8 am to 4 pm.
Before embarking on the Crazy Horse Volksmarch trail, you should check the weather, and dress accordingly.
Travel light for the hike to avoid exhaustion when you reach the top.
You can find Port-a-potties and water station along the trail to freshen up. Medical professionals and trail monitors will also be available to provide assistance when required.