Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota: Minuteman Missile National Historic SiteThe only Cold War-era Minuteman missile site open to public tours. See the silo!
- Hwy 240 Badlands Loop, Ellsworth AFB, SD
- Park HQ is on south side of Exit 131 off I-90, beside the gas station. Launch Control Facility Delta-01 is 4 mile west of headquarters. Launch Facility Delta-09 (missile silo) is south of I-90 just off exit 116, approximately 15 miles west of park headquarters (Coords: 43.93381, -102.15859)
- Summer tours M-F 9 am, 1:30 pm, other M-F 10 am. (Call to verify)
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Visitor Tips and News About Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
The Missile Flight D-01 control site can be visited by arranging a tour with the park service at Cactus Flats. From the park service office, you drive about 5 minutes away to the control site where the park ranger tells about the history of the Minuteman missile program and the operations of the "topside" crew who lived above the underground control pod on 72-hour shifts. After that, an elevator takes you down to the control pod (the missile commanders worked 24-hour shifts) for an interesting look-see.
The lengths to which we protected these missileers, so that they could fire missiles in return at our foes, is simply amazing.[Dave D., 03/27/2011]
Part of the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, the Delta-09 Launch Facility is located just a little south of I-90. Traveling east from Wall, SD, take exit 116 and then drive a short ways to the Delta-09 site.
Entering through a gate into a fenced area with a large sign authorizing the use of deadly force -- and then looking down into the silo at an actual ICBM -- was pretty chilling. It really brought home the reality of the Cold War.[Dale Divers, 09/24/2010]
You can visit an old Minuteman Missile silo right off of I-90. A printed guide explaining the site is available for a self-guided tour. If you make reservations ahead of time, you can get a guided tour of the control rooms and silos. We will definitely do that next time.[Nat Gildersleeve, 03/31/2009]
The tour assembles at Park HQ 15 miles west of this site.
In the good old days, our trained missilemen could loft one of these puppies into the upper atmosphere in a matter of minutes. But things move much more slowly since we wore out the Soviets.... [10/11/2002] Complete News Story
The House and Senate have passed legislation that will fund the $5 million conversion of a deactivated Minuteman Missile base in South Dakota into a Cold War museum. The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site would be near Ellsworth Air Force Base, at the entrance to the Badlands.... [11/28/1999] Complete News Story