Devils Tower stands tall in the middle of no where, so as we approached the area you could see it and it was very bright.
We got to the campground at dusk and set up the tent really quick. We could see the monument from our campsite, which was directly outside the entrance of the National Monument. These next three shots are all from our campground.
As usual we came into the park took some pictures, went to the visitors center and I got my Jr Ranger booklet to start to complete. From there we did the loop around the base. It is an Interpretive walk, meaning there are signs with facts about the tower, animals, and vegetation. And we saw the tower, animals and vegetations… LOL 🙂
The tower formed over 50 million years ago. It formed under the old surface as magma squeezed up through sedimentary rock layers. Over the past few million years the sedimentary rock has eroded leaving only the igneous rock, phonolite, left by the magma. Many of the old American Indian names for the tower have to do with a bear’s house/lodge/tipi/etc
Devils Tower was “misnamed.” Colonel Richard Irving Dodge translated that the Natives called it The Bad God’s Tower which was later named Devils Tower. In reality the Natives were likely saying Bear Lodge.
On September 24, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared Devils Tower as the first US National Monument
- America’s First National Monument in 1906
- 1893 – first 2 men to climb Devils Tower with a wooden stake ladder
- 1941 – Parachutist, George Hopkins, lands on top and is stuck for 6 days
- Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind features the tower
- 1% of visitors climb the tower
- colored cloth around branches at the base of the monument are sacred offerings left by American Indian tribes
We also successfully found multiple groups of people actively climbing the tower, all taking different routes.
On the way out of the park, we stopped by the prairie dog fields and I took some pictures of them popping up!
Then right past the exit, I saw the first Longhorns I’ve seen in my life. I’m sure I’ll be seeing more in Texas… but these were pretty cool for now 🙂
And of course, my picture of my Jr. Ranger badge and souvenirs!
NEXT TIME at Devils Tower: If I was in WAYYY better shape and a much more experienced climber, I would like to climb the tower.