Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
No
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.

Standing orders authorized the use of deadly force. During the Cold War, motion sensors recorded activity day and night so anyone or anything attempting to cross the fence here at Delta-09 was in grave jeopardy.

The Delta-09 Launch Facility in South Dakota required the extreme security measures because the site was home to a Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile, also called an ICBM. With a 1.2 megaton nuclear warhead, the ICBM was capable of causing massive destruction.

Why was it here? During the Cold War era, the United States developed the Minuteman missiles as a deterrent to the Soviet Union. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower said, “We are going to have peace, even if we have to fight for it.” The missiles were placed in the sparsely populated Great Plains region because it was far from the oceans where Soviet submarines would not be able to destroy the Minuteman missiles before the missiles could be launched at the Soviet Union. Amazingly, the missiles could be launched from South Dakota and reach the Kremlin in Moscow, Soviet Union, 5,170 miles away, in only 30 minutes flight time.

Today, visitors are welcome at Delta-09, even inside the fence. Visitors may peer down through a glass roof into the 12 foot in diameter, 80 foot deep missile silo. Constructed of reinforced concrete with a steel-plate liner, the silo is complete with an unarmed missile. Other support structures such as antennas and motion sensors are available to view, but for safety reasons, there are no underground tours. A cell-phone guided tour will explain the history of the Minuteman missile silos and the thirty-year operation of Delta-09.

Visitors can learn about the escalation of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War at the nearby Minuteman Missile Visitors Center and at the Minuteman Missile Delta-01 site that controlled the missiles in the surrounding area including the one at Delta-09.

 

Reference:

https://www.nps.gov/mimi/index.htm

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall
Summer

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Look into missile silo. Interesting cell-phone tour.

Cons

No underground tours.

Features

Historically significant
Family friendly
Big vistas

Location

Comments

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