Is Devils Tower Worth the Drive? An Expert's Guide

For the best experience, plan to spend at least half a day at Devils Tower. It takes at least an hour to drive here, so it's worth investing a few hours in the park to get the most out of your visit. If you take the quickest route from Rapid City to Devils Tower and back, it's 215 miles and takes three and a half hours. With a bit more time and driving, you can also visit some very interesting places along the way.

On our cross-country trip, we rushed and didn't plan enough stops. While we made a quick stop at Mount Rushmore, we should have planned time to go from there to Devils Tower. It's definitely something to consider for the next time we go on a road trip. Sacred to Native Americans, a popular road trip destination and alien landing site, a famous film location - Devils Tower evokes mystery and wonder for visitors of all ages.

If you have plans to visit Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone, there are several driving routes that cross Wyoming and Devils Tower can easily be added to this road trip. As you can see, the travel time between Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota and Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming is relatively short. Devils Tower appeared in the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which turns the tower into an alien landing site. This walk offers a different perspective of Devils Tower and, with fewer crowds, is more pleasant than the Tower Trail.

For stunning views of Devils Tower and the Belle Fourche River Valley, put the Red Beds Trail on your list of things to do. Devils Tower National Monument Road runs through the park and connects the entrance station to the best places to visit and the visitor center. There is a KOA at the entrance and some accommodations near Devils Tower if you plan to spend a night here. If you Google the total driving distance from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower National Monument, you'll see 3 suggestions.

If you take the time to walk the entire Tower Trail, then it will give you different angles of Devils Tower. When you arrive at Devils Tower, you'll have to stretch your neck back a little to look at it since you're standing very close, but you have a few nice views of it. We arrived around 6 pm at Devils Tower and set up a tent at the Belle Fourche River campsite inside the Monument. Like the Tower Trail, this trail revolves around Devils Tower but since it's farther from the base of the tower, you get a better view of it.

Devils Tower was established as America's first national monument on September 24th 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. To make sure you get the most out of your visit, plan ahead and research what activities are available in advance. With its stunning views and unique history, Devils Tower is definitely worth making time for on your next road trip.

Roxanne Cotner
Roxanne Cotner

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