"Custer, South Dakota, home of Mount Rushmore" Custer by bilgeez

Custer Travel Guide: 50 reviews and 128 photos

Near Mount Rushmore

Custer, South Dakota, is just a few minutes from Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorials and the Custer State Park.
I stayed in this charming little town when I passed through South Dakota to visit the Monuments on my way moving back to Michigan in 1999.
Of course, the town is dedicated to promoting Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and the Battle of Little Big Horn.
I stayed at the Bavarian Inn Motel in Custer which is on US 16. Glad I did. I have a seperate review of it in this section.
To see Mount Rushmore is a very awe-inspiring experience. It is reverentially quiet in the park and there are several things to see other than the monument. There is a movie on how it was built and a photo gallery in the guest centre on the history of the area and the building of the monument. There is a tour of part of the tunnels that were cut into the base to get to the top of the hill.
Crazy Horse Monument Park I did not go into, as the cost, I felt, was ridiculous for what it had to offer. One can see if from the highway and save the $21 entry fee to the park they wanted. Remember, Crazy Horse is privately owned, not a state or national park! They got to make the money back for chisling that monstrosity! Entry fee to Mount Rushmore was about $12, but the ticket was good for any US National Park entry in the next 30 days. Not planning to go to any other national parks on my trip home, I felt that was a stiff fee, but much less than what they held you up for to see Crazy Horse!

The National Park

Mount Rushmore National Park is run by the National Parks Service under the Department of Agriculture of the United States.
It is located off US 385North, just north-west of Custer, South Dakota.
The Monument was begun in 1927 by Guzon (John) Borglum, a sculptor from Idaho, who wanted to show his patriotism by making large, dramatic sculptures. Borglum worked on the monument until he died in 1941 and his son, Lincoln, completed the monument during the Second World War.
Borglum also started the hugh bas-releif at Stone Mountain, Georgia in 1916 but quit when he had a dispute with State officials.
He started Mount Rushmore when he got favorable treatment by the US Government and ample private financial backing to start the project.

Crazy Horse Monument

Another American sculptor, Koczak Ziolkowski, began sculpting the Crazy Horse Memorial about the time Mount Rushmore was being finished by Lincoln Borglum. Ziolkowski worked on this Monument until he died, in 1982. His family continued the work until 1998 when it was dedicated. It is still being completed to this date.
When complete, the monument will be over 600 feet (about 200 meters) long.
Crazy Horse was one of the Oglala Sioux Cheifs who fought George Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Crazy Horse was killed by US Cavalrymen while supposedly resisting arrest in May, 1877.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Picturesque Woodsy Serene
  • Cons:Touristy of course
  • In a nutshell:Not a bad place to stop if touring the area.
  • Last visit to Custer: Sep 1999
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (4)

Comments (1)

  • Tugboatguy's Profile Photo
    Jun 9, 2008 at 5:05 PM

    Bill, Thanx 4 XLNT tips & photos. Was born in South Dakota & visited Mt. Rushmore when free. In addition to fine eating tips I recommend local wild buffalo burgers-very lean, healthy meat not artificially fattened with corn or soybeans as beef cattle.


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