Crowds brave the heat to stand on top of Crazy Horse Memorial
It is the most popular organized hike in the United States, with 15,000 walkers in a record year.
CUSTER, S.D. — The 36th annual Crazy Horse Spring Volksmarch took place in Custer Saturday despite the unseasonably hot weather.
The biannual event is a 10k – or 6.2 mile – hike to the arm of Crazy Horse Memorial. It is the most popular organized hike in the United States, with 15,000 walkers in a record year.
The event is sponsored by the Black Hills Chapter of the American Volksmarch Association.
Hikers began in the upper parking lot at the memorial and walked a marked trail 3.1 miles up to the top of the memorial.
For some, like Gerald Meyers, whose brother got him started two decades ago, the hike is a yearly staple.
“When I retired, I decided I needed to do something to get some exercise…and he came up here every year, so I decided to join him and come up here…the two of us,” Meyers said.
The two-day event continued Sunday, with registration beginning at 7 a.m. and the hike starting at 8 a.m.
Hikers had to register before 1 p.m. and be off the mountain before 4 p.m.
Memorial entry fees were discounted for Volksmarchers ($10/one person, $15/two people, $20/three+ people), and hikers also paid a $3/person fee to the Volkssport Association at registration.