Devils Tower National Monument

Devils Tower National Monument

Location

Devils Tower National Monument is in Devils Tower, WY.   

The Tower is:

  • 33 miles northeast of Moorcroft, WY
  • 27 miles northwest of Sundance, WY
  • 52 miles southwest of Belle Fourche, SD
  • About 2.5 hours from Mount Rushmore
  • About 2 hours from Crazy Horse
  • About 1.5 hours from Deadwood, SD

Hours, Fees, Parking, & Visitor Center

The park is open year-round, 24 hours per day!  There is an entrance fee as well as fee free days, annual, and lifetime passes.  To see more information on fees, click here.

There is a parking lot, with plenty of parking, and a Visitor Center.  The Visitor Center has many exhibits and information, as well as a bookstore.

Hiking Trails

Paved trails offer close-up views of the tower and outdoor exhibits that tell the Tower’s story.

  • Tower Trail is 1.7 miles
  • Red Beds Trail is 2.9 miles
  • South Side Trail is 0.6 miles
  • Joyner Ridge Trail is 1.5 miles
  • Valley View Trail  is 0.6 miles

Pets are not allowed on trails.

Climbing Devils Tower

In 1893, the first climbers on record to summit Devils Tower National Monument were two ranchers, Willard Ripley and William Rogers.

Rogers had an idea to build a ladder.  He gathered materials and Ripley built the ladder that snaked all the way up to the summit.  When they were ready to climb, they advertised it and drew a large spectator crowd!

In 1895, Linnie Rogers, wife of William Rogers, became the first woman on record to climb the Tower.  

Remnants of the wooden ladder can still be seen on the side of the tower. 

For more information on climbing at Devils Tower, click here.

Landing on the Devils Tower

In 1941, a professional parachutist named George Hopkins landed on top of the tower. There was plenty of room to land, however, George had trouble getting down from the tower.

George’s trouble began when the rope he was climbing with fell over the side of the tower and out of his reach.  This was his only way down!

Teams below planned the rescue.  Food and supplies were dropped to him until they were ready to attempt the rescue.

After 6 days, several technical climbers were able to get George down. Over 7000 spectators watched as the team of climbers brought George to safety!

American Indian Prayer Cloths

In several areas you will see American Indian prayer cloths attached to the trees.  These are considered sacred and should not be touched, disturbed, or removed.

Some consider it culturally insensitive to photograph the cloth.

The Window at Devils Tower National Monument

The window is one of the Tower’s most distinctive features. As tall stone pillars toppled from the tower, it made what looks like a window in the side of the Tower.

Wildlife at Devils Tower National Monument

What you hear and see depends on the season!  Many species hibernate or migrate to warmer climates in the winter.  As the forest warms and turns to summer, the wildlife use sounds to communicate with other wildlife.

  • Bats-after sunset you may hear their wings flapping as they swoop in for insects
  • Turkey vulture-you may hear the grunt of a turkey vulture in flight
  • Peregrine Falcon-these birds soar around the tower and make a screechy kak-kak-kak sounds
  • Bull Snake-the snorts and hisses the bull snake makes are often mistaken for rattlesnakes. Mostly found in dry grassy areas
  • White-tailed Deer-Deer “talk” with low-pitched, rattling grunts, and also use scent to relay messages

Fun Facts About Devils Tower National Monument

  • Devils Tower was the first National Monument in the USA, declared as such in 1906 by President Teddy Roosevelt
  • The tower was formed about 50 million years ago
  • The erosion that exposed the tower took place about 5-10 million years ago
  • From the base, Devils Tower is more than four football fields tall
  • The tower is made up of mostly hexagonal columns, with 4-7 sides
  • You can rock climb at Devils Tower, no guide is required, but all climbers must register at the ranger station before and after attempting to climbing
  • There is no climbing allowed in the month of June because the Native American Tribes to perform sacred ceremonies during this time
  • You will notice there is very little undergrowth in the forest. This is because the park service sets it on fire.  This is to attempt to keep the forest floor relatively free of dry, dead undergrowth

Devils Tower Gulch

Devils Tower Gulch is a restaurant, bar, and gift shop.  It is open 11am-8pm daily. It is located at the base of Devils Tower, 601 State Highway 24.  

We stopped in for dinner after exploring Devils Tower.  The food was amazing!  We were very hungry after our hike and we both enjoyed steaks!

The gift shop is large and offers things like t-shirts, mugs, magnets, and more!

Our Visit to Devils Tower

We loved every minute of our time at Devils Tower! It is beautiful and the views are amazing!  There is so much to do in the surrounding area and that is why we recommend Devils Tower as a must stop for any traveler!

Devils Tower National MonumentDevils Tower National Monument

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