Hikers get ready for the 11th annual Fall Volksmarch

1st time to add a 5k to the mountain top round trip
KOTA Territory News at Noon
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 4:34 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Two days after the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup on Friday, Sept. 29, it’s the 11th Fall Volksmarch on Sunday, Oct. 1, at the Crazy Horse Memorial.

Terry Derouchey, vice president of visitor services, and Jacinto (Hoss) Montoya, visitor host at Crazy Horse, gave an update about this year’s hike.

Derouchey says, “The Volksmarch will have a 10 KM (6.2 miles) roundtrip route to the top of the mountain carving and for the first time, we have added a 5 KM (3.1 miles) roundtrip route to the top, and for those who can’t make the 10K we have another option.”

The gates will open at 6 a.m. with registration for the Volksmarch at 7 a.m. on the upper gravel parking lot. Derouchey adds that weather permitting, the first hikers can start hiking at 8 a.m. and the last hiker has to start hiking at 1 p.m. so that all hikers have to be off the mountain by 4 p.m.

In deference to the late Mrs. Ruth Ziolkowski who supported many food drives in the past, hikers can gain admission with three cans of food per hiker and then each hiker pays the $3 fee in cash or check (no credit cards) at the registration tent. Hikers without cans of food will pay a discounted admission fee. Non-hikers will pay normal admission. The mountain crew members will be on top of the mountain carving to talk to hikers and show the progress of the carving.

The laser light show is still ongoing every night at 7:30 pm.., with the last night show on Saturday, Sept. 30. Derouchey says this year will be the last season where they show the laser light show. They also have three daily cultural performances at 11:30, 1:30, and 4:30 through Saturday, Sept. 30.

Montoya reminds everyone to plan on visiting during Native American Day, Oct. 9, when there is a full program of events including cultural performances, and a program of events with the announcement of the educator of the year. The day will include a free meal of buffalo stew.

For more information about the Fall Volksmarch watch the video.