Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
Yes
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

A visit to the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Delta-01, is a step back into the time of the Cold War. It was a time when the Soviet Union and the United States were in a missile arms race. The Soviet Union had already tested an atomic bomb and in 1957 launched the world’s first artificial satellite. Americans could hear the beeping signal of the satellite as it passed over their heads.

In 1958, U.S. President Eisenhower authorized the development of the Minuteman missile. By 1963, the missiles in South Dakota were declared operational. Considering one Minuteman II missile had a payload equal to 60 percent of all the bombs used during World War II, the 150 Minuteman II missile sites planted across South Dakota and aimed at the Soviet Union, were quite a deterrent. In addition, missiles were also planted in other states.

What appears as an average ranch house, the Delta-01 Launch Control Facility, was maintained at the highest level of security. Here, the missileers controlled ten Minuteman II missiles. Even Air Force personnel trying to enter the compound had to wait at the gate, telephone a security policeman inside, and provide proper codes before gaining entry.

Today, visitors may drive to the fenced site and read display panels explaining the significance of this historic facility. With advanced reservations, adventurers may take a forty-five minute ranger-guided tour to see first-hand how the personnel lived and worked in the control center. Beginning with a walk on the grounds, adventurers will then enter the building and see the living areas and get a sense of the ever-present vigilance required.

The tour group, limited to six participants plus the park ranger, then enters an open grate elevator and descends 31 feet underground to the Launch Control Center. In a fortified enclosure, behind a vault-like door, visitors see where the workers were constantly on guard at the control panels ready to respond if the launch orders were given.

Note: tours are considered moderately strenuous. Visitors must walk and stand unassisted for a quarter mile round trip walk. In the event of an elevator failure, tour participants must be able to climb two 15 foot ladders unassisted. Children must be six years old and at least 40” tall. The compound cannot be made fully accessible; however, accessible parking is available, and if notified in advance, an accessible “topside” tour is offered, with a minimum of two visitors; it does not go to the underground control center. Sign language interpreters are also available with advance notice.

To order all Delta-01 tour tickets:

Call 605-717-7629

Or online at: https://www.nps.gov/mimi/planyourvisit/launch-control-facility-delta-01-tours-and-tickets.htm

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Intriguing tour. Walk inside original facility.

Cons

Advance reservations for tours are required. Fee for tour.

Features

Historically significant
Family friendly
Guided tours

Location

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