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The World’s Largest Sculpture

Chief Crazy Horse Monument has been continually under construction in the Black Hills of South Dakota since 1948. Chief Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain sculpture dedicated to Chief Crazy Horse, an Oglala Lakota (Sioux Indian) warrior.

Once completed, the Crazy Horse South Dakota monument will depict the upper torso of Chief Crazy Horse mounted on his horse, with his arm outstretched and pointing towards the “land of his ancestors.” The construction is still in progress.

Who Was Chief Crazy Horse?

Chief Crazy Horse and Chief Sitting Bull have gone down in history as the leaders of the Sioux uprising that defeated General Custer in the Battle of Little Big Horn, otherwise known as “Custer’s Last Stand.”

The Crazy Horse mountain memorial includes:

  • Chief Crazy Horse Monument
  • Native American Cultural Center
  • The Indian Museum of North America
  • Crazy Horse Monument History

The Mount Rushmore Monument likely inspired the Chief Crazy Horse Monument. Native Indian Chief Henry Standing Bear wanted to publicly prove that Indian nations had their own heroes too. He wrote a letter to sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski inquiring about his interest in creating a North American monument. Ziolkowski had previously worked on the Mount Rushmore Monument in 1924 under master sculptor Gutzon Borglum and had the experience needed to take on this new monumental project.

Location of Crazy Horse Monument

Crazy Horse Monument is being carved out of Thunderhead Mountain, a place considered to be sacred ground by Native Americans. As you travel south along route 385 (on the southwest side of South Dakota), Thunderhead Mountain and Crazy Horse Memorial can be found almost mid-way between Hill City and Custer City. The location of Crazy Horse Monument in relation to Mount Rushmore is only about 8 miles away.

Size of Crazy Horse Monument

Once completed Chief Crazy Horse memorial dimensions are expected to be 641 feet (195 meters) wide and 563 feet (172 meters) tall, which would make the Chief Crazy Horse Monument the world’s largest mountain carving.

The Crazy Horse Monument will also be the world’s largest sculpture of the human head, measuring in at approximately 87 feet tall. In comparison, the heads of the US Presidents carved into Mount Rushmore Monument are approximately 60 feet tall.

Completion of Crazy Horse Monument

Perhaps the most common question asked is, “When will Crazy Horse Monument be finished?” No one is really sure. The blasting continues and the mountain carving is a work in progress, dependent upon donations and private funding only. Although the US Government has offered to help fund the construction of the Chief Crazy Horse Monument on several occasions, artist and sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and his successors have politely declined.

When Ziolkowski passed away in 1982, the non-profit Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation took over the project and to this day continues to honor Ziolkowski’s intentions to keep funding for the project private while striving for higher educational and cultural goals within their communities. Ziolkowski’s wife Ruth oversees all work on the Crazy Horse Monument with the help of the foundation and their 10 children. Essentially, the foundation collects funds to continue with its project through visitor fees, with more than a million guests visiting each year.

The completion and dedication of the face of Chief Crazy horse occurred in 1998, fifty years after the very first blasting of rock. At this point in time there is still no estimated completion date for the rest of the monument.

Chief Crazy Horse Volksmarch

Each year, the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation hosts many educational, social and cultural events.

For the last 30 years they have organized an Annual Spring Volksmarch where the public is invited to hike 6.2 miles through the Black Hills woodlands to see the actual sculpture in progress up close. This is a very popular event with up 15,000 guests in attendance each year. In 2013, an Annual Fall Volksmarch was introduced, giving guests a second opportunity to hike up to the monument. This is the most popular organized hike in the United States.

Crazy Horse Monument Controversy

There is plenty of controversy to go along with the Chief Crazy Horse South Dakota monument. During his life Crazy Horse did not want his picture taken and following his death, his body was placed in an unnamed location. As such, the Chief Crazy Horse monument is sculpted in likeness of him and is dedicated to both the spirit of Crazy Horse and to all Native Americans.

While Lakota (Indian) Chief Henry Standing Bear acknowledged the sincerity of Chief Crazy Horse’s motives, many Native Americans are still against the construction of this memorial. Some of the people who knew the history of Crazy Horse have likened the monument to a “pollution and desecration of the landscape.”

About Caravan Tours

Caravan Tours, which is still family owned and operated, began offering all inclusive tours back in 1952. We now offer affordable, fully guided, all inclusive tours throughout the United States, Canada, and Central America.

A tour of Chief Crazy Horse monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota is included in our fully escorted, all inclusive Mt Rushmore Yellowstone tour.

Visit our Caravan Mount Rushmore tour reviews page to read what others have said about this exceptionally priced US travel tour. For more tour information about Chief Crazy Horse monument or to book a vacation with Caravan Tours, please call us toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826).

Where is Mount Rushmore?

Mount Rushmore presidents were carved out of a granite rock face in the Black Hills of South Dakota, USA.

Who Built Mount Rushmore?

Gutzon Borglum, a master sculpture, conceived and carved Mount Rushmore Memorial. He was assisted by over 400 other rock carvers and explosive experts.

When Was Mount Rushmore Built?

Construction of the Black Hills granite rock faced mountain near Keystone South Dakota began in 1927 when Borglum was 60 years old. The sculptures of the Mount Rushmore presidents were not completed when Borglum died in 1941.

Why Did They Carve Mount Rushmore?

Master carver Gutzon Borglum created Mount Rushmore to commemorate America’s first 150 years as a free country. In his own words, Borglum states that the four presidents were chosen to, “Commemorate the founding, growth, preservation, and development to the United States of America.”

Who are the Mount Rushmore Presidents?

Below, is a list of the four Mount Rushmore presidents’ names, along with the dates for their terms in office:

  1. George Washington (US President from 1789 to 97)
  2. Thomas Jefferson (US President from 1801 to 09)
  3. Abraham Lincoln (US President from 1861 to 65)
  4. Theodore Roosevelt (US President from 1901 to 09)

Why These Four Mount Rushmore Presidents?

One of the most common questions asked is this: Why were these presidents chosen for the Mount Rushmore monument?

The United States of America came into being in 1776 and turned 240 years old on July 1st, 2016. Mount Rushmore represents the presidents from each important era spanning 150 years during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

George Washington

President Washington was selected because of his efforts towards democracy in the United States.

Thomas Jefferson

President Jefferson was chosen for his authorship of the Declaration of Independence.

Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln was chosen because he was responsible for the end of slavery in the United States.

Theodore Roosevelt

President Roosevelt was a personal choice of Borglum’s and was chosen because of his contributions to business, conservation and the creation of the Panama Canal.

11 Mount Rushmore Facts You May Not Know

The sculpted heads of the four American presidents at Mount Rushmore are 60 feet (18.29 meters) high. Here are some answers to some of the most common questions plus a few other interesting facts about Mount Rushmore Monument:

  1. Sculpter Gutzon Borglum was 60 when he began work on Mt Rushmore
  2. Mount Rushmore presidents took 14 years to complete
  3. Mount Rushmore cost less than 1 million dollar to make (over 17 million in today’s dollars)
  4. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was assisted by over 400 workers
  5. In all, there are 506 steps to reach the summit of Mt Rushmore
  6. The Mount Rushmore sculpture was completed safely with no casualties
  7. Mount Rushmore is approximately 465 feet in total height
  8. Each of the eyes of the Mount Rushmore presidents are 11 feet wide
  9. Each of the president’s noses are about 20 feet high
  10. Each president’s mouth is about 18 feet wide
  11. The elevation of Mount Rushmore monument is about 5,500 feet above sea level

Mount Rushmore Construction

The rock face carving required exceptional talent and precise craftsmanship, and it was definitely very difficult to complete the construction of this historical landmark. The construction workers first began sculpting Mount Rushmore with egg-shaped masses of rock. Huge boulders were cleared with the use of dynamite to carve out the general shapes of the Mount Rushmore presidents’ heads. To finish the sculpture, Gutzon Borglum and his crew had to remove approximately 400 thousand tons of rock from the site.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial rests on more than 500 hectares of land and is part of the Mount Rushmore National Park, under the management of the National Park Service. Nearly 3 million tourists visit Mount Rushmore annually.

About Caravan Tours

Like all Caravan all inclusive tours, the Mount Rushmore Yellowstone tour is exceptionally priced and also includes escorted tours of Yellowstone National Park, Grand Tetons, and Mammoth Hot Springs.

For more than 65 years, Chicago based Caravan Tours has remained a family run all inclusive tour company and now offers fully guided tours throughout the USA, Canada, and Central America.

You can also visit Caravan’s Mount Rushmore tour reviews page to read what others have said about this Caravan tour. Book your next trip with Caravan and come see the Mount Rushmore Presidents!

To find out more call Caravan Tours toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826).

Caravan Tours’ Yellowstone vacation packages are all-inclusive and fully guided.

Yellowstone Park

Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872, is exceptional and renowned as the world’s first national park. Yellowstone Park is located near West Yellowstone town and about 7 hours’ drive going north from Salt Lake City, Utah, and just 3 hours from Jackson.

Yellowstone Park has an area of more than 19,260 square miles. It includes a wonderful array of sights, natural geological wonders, and unique features that have helped make Caravan’s Yellowstone vacation packages a favorite of visiting tourists who flock to Yellowstone to see:

Yellowstone Caldera

Also known as the Yellowstone Super Volcano.

Yellowstone Waterfalls

Yellowstone Park has 290 waterfalls in all including the 308 foot tall Yellowstone Lower Falls and the 109 foot tall Yellowstone Upper Falls.

Natural Hot Springs

Yellowstone National Park has over 10,000 geothermal oddities including hot springs, fumaroles, and the park’s famous geysers.

Old Faithful Geyser 

Most Yellowstone vacation packages include a visit to the world’s most famous geyser, Old Faithful, just one of 300 geysers to be found in Yellowstone National Park.

Old Faithful Inn

Another favorite park destination on most Yellowstone vacation package tours, Old Faithful Inn is a timber log hotel built in 1903 and features an enormous 85-foot stone fireplace.

Yellowstone Wildlife

Including grizzlies, the park is famous for its moose, elk, mountain lions, gray wolves, and mountain goats.

Petrified Forests

The world’s largest Petrified Forest can be found in Yellowstone National Park.

Old Faithful Geyser

With more than 3 million tourists visiting Yellowstone National Park yearly, fully escorted Yellowstone family vacation packages have become increasingly popular. During peak days, sometime between July and August, up to 25,000 people will visit to wait for the famous Old Faithful geyser to erupt.

Old Faithful has always been one of the park’s most popular features so families and senior tourists who wish to avoid the crowds may choose to visit during the off-season. Weekdays, early morning visits, or late afternoons are also excellent times to visit Old Faithful Geyser. Caravan’s Yellowstone family vacation packages and senior tours are also fully guided and offer the most convenient way to see Old Faithful.

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone National Park tours require at least 3 full days if one wants to explore most of the park’s most popular attractions. Another popular destination on many Yellowstone vacation package tours is Yellowstone Lake. At an elevation of over 6500 feet above sea level, Yellowstone Lake is the highest freshwater lake in the continental United States and has about 100 natural streams flowing in and out of it. The area also has a unique geothermal feature; a mud volcano.

Grand Loop Drive

The Grand Loop Drive is the main thoroughfare in Yellowstone National Park. It is a loop similar to figure 8 and runs over 140 miles throughout Yellowstone Park. Grand Loop Drive is included in virtually all Yellowstone vacation packages and offers plenty of wonderful sights to see.

Yellowstone Grand Loop tours may include Norris Geyser Basin, a desert-looking landscape laden with small craters, bubbling hot springs, and geysers such as the Echinus Geyser. While the sights around Yellowstone Park are thrilling, visitors are warned to keep within the authorized pathways and roadways, mainly because of the dangers associated with getting too close to the acidic waters of the geysers and mud holes.

Mammoth Hot Springs is another stop on the Grand Loop Drive, as well as old Fort Yellowstone, which now serves as the park’s headquarters.

Certain portions of the Yellowstone River Basin show wonderfully laid out basalt columns that were formed by nature yet look more like some Hollywood set design. Grand Loop Drive winds down through Dunraven Pass on Mount Washburn, where you can witness the 50 million-year-old volcano that enveloped forests. Then there’s Hayden Valley, where you can savor the sights of grassy lands, small lakes and streams, and abundant wildlife, like elks, bison, and even white pelicans.

All-Inclusive Yellowstone Vacation Packages

Mount Rushmore Yellowstone tours by Caravan Tours are fully guided vacation packages that include Old Faithful, Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, and more. These are all-inclusive, 8-day tours that also include visits to the Grand Tetons, Mount Rushmore, and Crazy Horse Monument.

Caravan’s Yellowstone National Park vacation packages are affordably priced considering all activities, land transportation, meals, and hotel accommodations are included.

Read fellow traveler’s reviews of their Caravan Yellowstone National Park tour experience.