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Hike the Bi-Annual Volksmarch at Crazy Horse

Custer, South Dakota



6.2 miles

Elevation Gain

500 ft

Route Type



Added by CampCo

The bi-annual Crazy Horse Volksmarch is a 10K or 6.2-mile woodlands ramble to the world’s largest mountain carving in progress in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. What makes this hike so incredibly special is that you can only do this hike a few days a year when the active construction on Crazy Horse Memorial is suspended for this event.

But first, what is a volksmarch? A volksmarch is a non-competitive 3.1 mile (5 km) or 6.2 mile (10 km) walk. It's not a pledge walk, it's not a race, but it is a fun activity you do with a club, with your family, or all by yourself. Volksmarching got its name from its origins in Europe.

The actual route changes annually in order to protect the surrounding areas and minimize impact. The route is 10K (6.2 miles round trip) on hilly, rough terrain with some steep inclines, so sturdy hiking footwear is recommended. Starting at the Memorial’s Welcome Center, the trail rises about 500 feet up to the mountain. It leads you out onto the arm and completely up against, or rather, underneath the face of Crazy Horse. 

There are water stations and port-a-potties along the trail, but it is recommended to bring your own snacks and water, especially on hot summer days. 

There is a $3 donation to participate in the hike event, but parking is free. Shuttle buses operate between outlying parking lots and the start-finish area. There is no advance registration, but hikers must check in at the starting point, which is at the Memorial’s upper parking area. For this event, the registration begins at 7 am, hikers must register before 1 pm, and be off the trail by 4 pm. They will not allow for any later starts.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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