Exploring the Mystical Devils Tower in Wyoming

Devils Tower is a unique and surprising geological wonder located in northeastern Wyoming, across the state line. Rising 386 m (1,267 ft) above the Belle Fourche River, it is the world's largest example of columnar junctions and presents a modern challenge for climbers and national parks. It has a flat top that covers 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) and fluted sides, measuring 867 feet (264 meters) in height measured from its base and 386 meters (1,267 feet) measured from the river valley; its summit has an elevation of 5,112 feet (1,558 meters) above sea level.

Devils Tower

is a sacred site for more than 20 Native American tribes, also known as the Bear Lodge.

It was designated as the first national monument in the United States in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Once hidden below the Earth's surface, erosion has stripped away the softer rock layers that reveal the Tower. Some of these wooden stakes are still intact and are visible in the tower when walking the 1.3 mile (2.1 km) Tower Trail at the Devils Tower National Monument. Since the mid-1890s, Devils Tower has been one of the most popular rock climbing spots in the country. The most recent Native Americans to occupy the lands around the Devil's Tower were the Sioux Lakota; their name for it is Mato-Tipi (Bear Lodge), or place of residence of bears.

When you're looking at the tower it's hard to believe it's real and I always wonder how it ended up in the middle of Wyoming. From here, you can continue driving to Devils Tower or take one of the few trails, including Valley View Trail, The South Side Trail, and Red Beds Trail. Two theories have survived over time about the origin of Devils Tower in the wide expanses of the Wyoming plains. It is believed that Devils Tower was probably formed by the same process that formed the Rocky Mountains 65 million years ago. Less traveled trails include shorter, socially distanced walks that offer views of Devils Tower and its surrounding area. When pioneers looking for a new life in the West traveled in wagons along Oregon, California and Mormon Trails, many settled in the Devils Tower area, seeing that there was enough land for livestock and agriculture.

The 4-mile South Side to Red Beds Trail starts at the amphitheater and includes incredible views of the Belle Fourche River Valley and its geological formations, as well as Devils Tower. Most geologists believe that Devils Tower formed in a place where magma from Earth's mantle rose between masses of sedimentary rock. Geologists Carpenter and Russell studied Devils Tower in the late 19th century and concluded that it consisted of an igneous intrusion. The children have sisters take a bear to Devils Tower and trick him into thinking they have climbed up on top of it. Scott Momaday (kiowa) was given the name Tsoai-talee (rock tree boy) after Pohd-lohk, an elderly Kiowa, linking him to this myth. Devils Tower is an incredible natural wonder steeped in Native American legends and modern challenges for climbers and national parks alike. It is a unique destination for those looking to explore its history and beauty.

Roxanne Cotner
Roxanne Cotner

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