On our recent trip to North and South Dakota, we took a side trip to see Devils Tower in Wyoming. It was quite fascinating to see. It is located above the Belle Fourche River and is actually part of the Black Hills. The tower is igneous, and rises dramatically 1,267 feet above the surrounding terrain and the summit is 5,114 feet above sea level.
The monument's boundary encloses an area of 1,347 acres, and interestingly enough, was the first declared United States National Monument, established on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt.
According to several sources, the name Devil's Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Col. Richard Irving Dodge when his interpreter misinterpreted a native name to mean Bad God's Tower, which then became Devil's Tower. On a side note, all information signs in that area use the name "Devils Tower," following a geographic naming standard whereby the apostrophe is eliminated. Just thought that was interesting.
As recently as 2005, there were proposals to recognize several Indian ties through the additional designation of the monolith as Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark. It met with opposition from U.S, Representative Barbara Cubin, arguing that a "name change will harm the tourist trade and bring economic hardship to area communities.” So for now, it remains Devils Tower.
For some, climbing Devils Tower has become a sport with hundreds of climbers scaling the sheer rock walls of Devils Tower each summer. The most common route is what is commonly called the Durrance Route, however there are many established and documented climbing routes covering every side of the tower. The difficulty of these routes range from relatively easy to some of the hardest in the world. You definitely want to think before climbing. Also important to know if that you are required to register with a park ranger before and after attempting a climb. If you are adventurous, have fun.
If you have a few minutes, stop by the KOA Kampgound or the Devils Tower trading post for a souvenir or quick snack. The KOA had a great little shop with showers. We don't have an RV, but seems like a nice place to camp sometime. It's really not too far from our house. It is definitely worth stopping to see when traveling through the area. We enjoyed the time there and our dogs had a nice time running around and smelling everything in sight, lol. Here is a link to their website with more information than what I am sharing below.
340 WY-110 Devils Tower
Devils Tower, WY 82714
Open Year Round
Daily 9am - 5pm
Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
7-day Single Vehicle Pass: $10
7-day Motorcycle Pass: $5
Parking at Devils Tower National Monument is limited. The park sees thousands of visitors per day during the summer and the visitor center parking lot is currently under construction. The park is busiest between 10 am and 3 pm on the weekends; we highly recommend you plan to visit during the week, early or late in the day.