- Devils Tower National Park contains 1,347 acres of the hills and plains the Black Hills are known for and the immense Devils Tower, which stands over 1,000 feet above the surrounding terrain.
- Between Sundance and Moorcroft, Wyoming, along WY-24.
- The cultural and geological history and classic rock climbing routes draw visitors from all over.
Rising 1,267 above the Belle Fourche River, Devils Tower is a massive geological formation and America’s first National Monument (est. 1906). Devils Tower National Park encompasses 1,347 acres of rolling hills, pine forests, and prairie grasslands in northeastern Wyoming, the vastly differing grounds of the monument offer a most unique landscape for photography, observing nature and outdoor recreation.
Although most geologists agree that the tower was formed by an igneous intrusion that has eroded over time, some mystery still surrounds the exact sequence of events that shaped Devils Tower, with some scientists holding forth that it is the remnant of an ancient volcanic plug while others positing that the tower is all that is left of an ancient laccolith.
Legends Surrounding Devils Tower
Long before geologists began studying Devils Tower, Native American mythology created explanations for the tower all of its own. While stories vary somewhat from group to group, basic themes are shared by most. The Kiowa tribe story tells of seven little girls who were playing in the forest and suddenly found themselves being chased by giant bears. The girls ran to a nearby rock for refuge and prayed to their gods to save them. The rock then grew taller, raising the girls up into the sky until they became stars, forming the constellation of the Pleiades. As the tower rose with the girls, the bears clawed at the rising land, leaving behind the deep scratch marks that still appear on the sides of Devils Tower.
Since it was first climbed in 1893 by two local ranchers who ascended with the aid of wooden pegs they drove into the rock face, Devils Tower has become a popular climbing spot for climbers with varying ability levels. While the majority of climbs are several pitches, not all top out at the summit due to the lower quality rock near the top.
Since Devils Tower is a sacred site for local Native Americans, there is a voluntary climbing ban during June. While there are no legal repercussions for ignoring the ban, climbers are asked to abstain from climbing during this culturally significant period.
Climbers are required to register before and after all climbs on Devils Tower.
Eight miles of trails lead hikers around and through the monument. The popular Tower Trail circles the tower.
A variety of seasonal activities are led by park rangers, including walks highlighting the park’s natural history and geology, full moon walks that explore the area’s nightlife, and talks on the areas cultural history. Check in at the Visitor Center for a schedule of current events.
Fifty campsites are available within Devils Tower, as well as three group sites (6-20 people).
Entrance fee for Devils Tower is $10/vehicle, $5/motorcycle or $5/individual for a seven day pass. An Annual Pass is available for $20.
Camping fees are $12/night or $2/person/night at group sites (minimum of six people).
Devils Tower is located in Northeastern Wyoming along Wyoming-24, north of I-90 and US-14 between Sundance and Moorcroft, Wyoming.
Contact Devils Tower National Monument at (307) 467-5283 or Visit the Website.