Devils Tower National Monument was the first national monument in the U.S., declared in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. The grounds cover about two square miles in the center of Crook County and are open for hiking and climbing. Geologists recognize the hexagonal basalt columns of the tower as the neck of an ancient volcano, the rest of which has eroded away. Indian legends call the place Bear Lodge of Bear’s Tipi and tell of a rock that grew higher and higher to lift two little girls beyond the clutches of a bear that was pursuing them.
Today, more than 20 tribes have established ties to the tower, and many groups visit the site to perform traditional ceremonies every year
The rock rises 867 feet from the ground and 1,282 feet above the Belle Fourche River. The base diameter is around 1,000 feet.
Devils Tower is located 28 miles northwest of Sundance, Wyo., just off state Highway 24. From Sundance, take U.S. Highway 14 north to state Highway 24 and follow the signs.
The Devils Tower visitor center is located three miles from the park entrance and contains information about the natural and cultural history of the site. Seven miles of hiking trails are located in the park. The tower is known for its cultural significance as well as its natural beauty. Artifacts, plants, rocks and wildlife must not be disturbed. The speed limit for vehicles in the park is 25 mph.
The monument is open 24 hours per day year-round, when weather permits. For admission and camping fee schedules, and for visitor center hours, see the National Park Service’s website on the monument, or contact the Devils Tower National Monument Office at (307) 467-5283.