Type of Attraction

In the 1930s, work began on Rapid City’s quirky and beloved Dinosaur Park. The idea originated after dinosaur bones and footprints were found in the area. The goal was to convince travelers to Mount Rushmore to visit Rapid City, hoping to change the area from a pass-through town to a must-stop destination. Sculptor Emmet Sullivan and his team used metal pipe frames, wire and concrete to build dinosaurs. Many workers who helped carve Mount Rushmore were hired for the project. Officials initially selected five dinosaurs, but the group expanded to seven when two smaller dinosaurs were added near the gift shop. In the 1950s, the dinosaurs, originally painted gray, were given their green and white color scheme.