5:00 pm Get your tickets and have time to browse the Dances With Wolves film set and the Fort Hays Workshops.
6:30 pm – Supper bell rings loud calling all cowboys and cowgirls to bring their appetites. We serve up the best Chuckwagon menu in the west that’s sure to make your mouth water. It’s all served on handmade tin plates with drinks poured into tin cups. Be careful, the coffee is hot!
Cowboy Chuckwagon Menu
• Chuckwagon Potatoes
• Sliced Beef Simmered in BBQ Sauce
• Baked Chicken
• Western Baked Beans
• Ranch Biscuits and Honey
• Chunky Apple Sauce
• Old-fashioned Spice Cake
• Cowboy Coffee
• Tenderfoot Lemonade
7:15 pm to 8:15 pm – The Fort Hays Wranglers take the stage to entertain you with the Black Hills’ most popular music variety show! You will have a foot stompin’, belly shaken’, good time! Family fun for everyone! Bring your camera and take some pictures. We wind everything up in time for you to travel to Mount Rushmore for the lighting ceremony!
Every Morning 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Arrive early every morning for our “All You Can Eat” pancakes for $.99. Follow the bootprints through the door and grab a home-made tin plate from the stack and give your request to the cowboy’s and cowgirl’s eager to serve you. Our head cook and bottle washer arrives before the sun each morning to start baking the biscuits and sausage for breakfast so it’s fresh and hot. There’s plenty to eat so don’t be shy!
Cowboy Breakfast Menu
Make Reservations for Supper & Show!
After you are finished with breakfast visit the Dances with Wolves film set, Gift Shop, and Workshops along the boardwalk. Visit the headquarters building to make reservations or buy your tickets for the nightly Chuckwagon Supper & Cowboy Music Show.
The Dances with Wolves Film Set
Only 15 miles from Mount Rushmore National Memorial and 5 miles from Rapid City, Fort Hays is the perfect gateway to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Plus we offer FREE admission! Located at Fort Hays is the Dances with Wolves Film Set. Come see firsthand the original buildings used in the Oscar award winning movie. Released on November 21, 1990, Dances with Wolves won Best Picture and 6 additional Academy Awards. Box office sales were well over 424 million dollars. You can leisurely browse the film set and stand were John D Dunbar (Kevin Costner) was given his new posting orders for Fort Hays. Feel free to take photos and enjoy the South Dakota Film Museum. Here you will find over 50 movies on display that were filmed in South Dakota.
After you have browsed the film set, continue on down the boardwalk and visit the Supply House and Sawmill, which were also used in Dances with Wolves. Our Old West Town has many other turn-of-the-century workshops like the Tin Shop, Rope Shop, Blacksmith Shop, Sawmill and Penny Press. They are sure to keep you entertained.
In 2007 Dances with Wolves was selected for preservation in the United States by the National Film Registry, and the Library of Congress for being culturally significant.
Open mid-May to mid-October
7 days a week from 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM
Open Every Day 7:00 AM – 7:30 PM
Before you head to Mount Rushmore, visit Fort Hays, home of the Dances With Wolves film set. As you browse the boardwalk, you will find our craftsmen at work every day from 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM making handmade tools, ropes, bricks, plates and much more.
Fort Hays is more than just a set of buildings; it’s a trip back in time where you can see antiques that actually still operate today. You can find Black Hills Gold from Deadwood, make your own tin plate or brick, and even watch your own hunting knife take shape at the Blacksmith shop.
You’ll see all this as you visit our workshops and take pictures of yourself or the kids learning how things were made back in the old west.
Workshops That Take You Back in Time
Visit the Tin Shop and see how we make all our tin plates on a 100-year-old lathe. You can help make your own tin plate and even have it engraved by the tinsmith. This is a wonderful experience for visitors young and old as you learn through hands-on experience how tin plates were made in the old west. Tin plates are available in our Gift Shop, and make great gifts! Perfect for family reunions and group events!
Wander into the Post Office and see how many stamps you can count on the walls. Originally built in Provo, South Dakota, this post office still has the original boxes and walls with stamps dating back to the early 1900’s. See it for yourself!
Put your hands on the handle and start turning the twine into rope as our rope maker takes you back to the early days where you could make your own rope in just a few minutes. If you’re looking for a lasso for the kids, he’ll even show you how to create it and spin it. The walls are covered with old tools and many different types of rope crafts to purchase. See the Gift Shop for great rope gift ideas!
Meet Greg, our local blacksmith who works year round pounding, molding and shaping all kinds of metal into knives and other beautiful tools. Mixed in among the old style blacksmith tools on the walls, are knives at different stages waiting for their next go-round. Greg specializes in hunting knives made from horseshoes that fit the palm of your hand and won’t slip away. Take a close look at any knife Greg has on display and you will see his personal touch gleaming right back at you. All the items in the blacksmith shop are great practical gift ideas for anyone who enjoys pure craftsmanship in their tools!
The original sawmill steam engine from the movie Dances With Wolves powers many belt driven line shafts. Driving machines such as the giant saw blade that turns logs into shingles, corn cob grinder, the Penny Press and much more. Don’t forget to look for the details and see how many machines were powered by steam in the 1800’s.
Powered by the belt driven line shaft from the steam engine, pennies are squeezed thin and imprinted with our Fort Hays Dances With Wolves emblem. All you have to do is provide the penny and a dollar to see it happen right before your eyes. Pressed pennies are collector’s items and there is no other place in the world you can find ones like these. A pressed penny makes a great souvenir or gift!