Rapid City Blog: Mount Rushmore & Crazy Horse - Backpacker

Rapid City Blog: Mount Rushmore & Crazy Horse


The Black Hills have so many awesome places to visit that it’s hard to keep track of everything! This national memorial was on our list because to skip such a classic feature would be going against the All-American Road Trip Master List. We were surprised to find that it was an Idahoan that was the brain behind Mount Rushmore. But our best view of Rushmore was honestly not at the monument itself—nope, the way we enjoyed seeing Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln, and Washington was framed in one of Custer State Park’s awesome tunnels. At a distance we could really take in the scale of this famous peak that’s had so many different identities in the past to both Native Americans and settlers alike.


Not far from Mount Rushmore is the Crazy Horse Memorial, a huge carving of the famous Lakota leader. We were so impressed with the sheer size of this ongoing project that sits in the very heart of the Black Hills. Crazy Horse’s stern face, carved into the side of the mountain, towered over us—although there’s still a lot of work left to be done to complete this tribute to the visionary leader. The Indian Museum of North America at the entrance of the memorial was a place that we could’ve been lost in for hours. The museum honors not just Native American tribes of South Dakota, but of the entirety of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.