During the Cold War, there were 150 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silos in South Dakota. Start your visit at the thought-provoking museum in the National Park Service (NPS) visitor center on Interstate 90, located at Exit 131 (the east entrance into Badlands National Park). It can be hard to get onto a tour of the Delta-01 launch control facility that same day without reservations, but you can always stop at the Delta-09 missile silo at Exit 116.
Museum, Delta-09 missile silo, guided tours of Delta-01 launch control facility
Guided tours of the Delta-01 launch control facility have very limited space and a nominal fee, but are no longer solely first-come, first served thanks to an online reservation system. Guided tours are also available of the Minuteman II training silo at Ellsworth Air Force Base down the road on Interstate 90 at Exit 67, which is home of the free South Dakota Air and Space Museum (that is definitely worth a stop).
Located off Interstate 90 Exit 116, you can walk around the Delta-09 missile silo, which has interpretive signs around a deactivated Minuteman II ICBM.
Stop to read the quote by the front door to the NPS visitor center. It is a sobering reminder of the brutal logic behind “nuclear deterrence” and “Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).”
Summer and the September weekend of the Custer State Park bison roundup.
No fee for the main visitor center or the Delta-09 missile silo, but there is a small charge for the guided tour of the Delta-01 launch control facility.
Access to the multiple sites is by paved or good gravel roads.
Campgrounds and free backcountry camping are allowed in nearby Badlands National Park.
Explore More – A single Minuteman II missile has a 1.2-megaton warhead, which is equivalent in power to what percentage of all munitions used throughout World War II?