Climbing Devils Tower: Exploring the First National Monument in the US

Devils Tower is a unique natural formation located in Wyoming, USA. It is the first National Monument in the United States, declared as such by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906. The tower is made up of 5- and 6-sided columns, and is the largest known example of a “columnar joint”. It is the result of magma buried below the Earth's surface, which cooled as the sedimentary rock layers around and above the molten rock tower eroded and was exposed to the typical elements of erosion (rain, snow, wind and ice).Approximately 5,000 to 6,000 climbers visit Devils Tower each year. Climbing is allowed and around 4,000 people climb the tower every year.

The top of the devil's tower is flat, so you can't drive to the top of Devils Tower. However, you are allowed to upload it. If you're planning a trip to Devils Tower, you'll need to allocate a full day to drive between Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. It'll only take you 2 to 3 hours to see the best of Devils Tower.

There is only one campsite inside the Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming: Belle Fourche River Campground. You can see Devils Tower looking pretty big from the parking lot before you even start walking down the Tower Trail. Parking at Devils Tower is very difficult in the summer and the parking lots are usually full from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you've just stopped by Devils Tower and you're short on time, you can still enjoy a brisk walk and get an idea of the monument's features.

The Devil's Tower Trail is the most popular walk in the National Monument, which starts right in the visitor center parking lot and runs through the base of the Tower. The driving distance from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower is between 125 and 140 miles, depending on the route you take. We started in Alberta, drove to Billings, then headed to Devils Tower through Sheridan the next day, finished the day in Deadwood, South Dakota. As long as the entrance cabin to the Devil's Tower National Monument is staffed, you can purchase it when you arrive at Devils Tower. The unique natural formation really leaves you impressed and you'll take home a collection of stunning photos of Devils Tower from various points of view.

Roxanne Cotner
Roxanne Cotner

Incurable music nerd. Amateur pop culture specialist. General internet aficionado. Unapologetic web lover. Hipster-friendly bacon fanatic.