NOW OR NEVER

Eye of the Warrior

For a short time, get eye to eye with the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota.

By Anne Kristoff, Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008, 12:00 AM

Crazy Horse Memorial

For the Lakota tribe of South Dakota, no ancestor is as important as Crazy Horse, who defeated General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. So in 1948, when the tribe wanted to carve a likeness of the warrior astride a horse into a mountain in Black Hills National Forest, it hired sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who'd helped create parts of nearby Mount Rushmore.

The project, however, has been a slow one; the face took 50 years to finish. Since 1973, people have been able to tour the museum at the base of the monument. Now, for a limited time, you can also take a 10-minute van ride up to the warrior's head and stare him in the eye. The van parks just beneath the chin, and from up there, you can see as far as Wyoming. But this view won't always be available: The rides will cease once Crazy Horse is half completed. 605/673-4681, crazyhorse.org, $10, van tour $125.