Prairie Dog statue.

Six-Ton Prairie Dog

Field review by the editors.

Cactus Flat, South Dakota

The giant concrete Prairie Dog outside the Ranch Store was built by Harold Zundel and set into place on July 1, 1959. We know this because Harold scratched it into the wet cement of the Prairie Dog's base, and it's still visible today.

Prairie Dog statue.

Back then, however, the Prairie Dog and Ranch Store were 23 miles east in Kadoka, along old Hwy 16. That lasted until 1971, when the completion of I-90 rerouted traffic and forced the Ranch Store and its six-ton, 12-foot-tall mascot to move west to its current spot, closer to an exit.

The Prairie Dog, although frequently repainted, still closely resembles his original color scheme as seen on old postcards. And he still lords over a real prairie dog town, which is free to visit. Prairie dog chow is available for a modest price inside the Ranch Store.

Six-Ton Prairie Dog

The Ranch Store

Address:
21190 SD-240, Cactus Flat, SD
Directions:
The Ranch Store. I-90 exit 131. Drive south on Hwy 240 for one mile.
Hours:
Prairie Dog year-round; Ranch Store May-Oct. daily 8-6 (Call to verify)
Phone:
605-433-5477
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Minuteman Missile National Historic SiteMinuteman Missile National Historic Site, Ellsworth AFB, SD - < 1 mi.
Scrap Metal HorseScrap Metal Horse, Philip, SD - 1 mi.
Horse with Rushmore HeadsHorse with Rushmore Heads, Interior, SD - 8 mi.
In the region:
Whitetail Deer Made of Car Parts, Kadoka, SD - 19 mi.

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July 16, 2019

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