In the legend of Arapaho, a young woman transforms into a bear and injures her sister while pursuing her brothers. When her sister doesn't recover, “Bear-Girl climbs to the top of Devils Tower, abandoning her family to keep them safe. The stories differ in detail, but the basic idea is that one or more indigenous people flee from a bear. They are saved on a rock and ask the Great Spirit for help.
The Great Spirit makes the rock grow taller. In its attempt to catch its prey, the bear leaves claw marks on the rock, but it doesn't reach people. The tower has a flat top that covers 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) and fluted sides. It measures 264 meters (867 feet) high from its base and 386 meters (1,267 feet) as measured from the river valley; its summit has an elevation of 1558 meters (5,112 feet) above sea level.
The tower probably formed when molten rock, pushing upwards, found a hard rock layer and was forced to spread out in a flat shape. Its color is mainly light gray and beige. Lichens cover parts of the tower, and sage, moss and grass grow on top of it. Squirrels and birds live at the top, and a pine forest covers part of the surrounding country; there is also a sizeable prairie dog village near the base of the tower.
Devils Tower, the iconic monolith in northeastern Wyoming, juts straight into the air and rises 1200 feet from the grasslands near the Belle Fourche River. All Native American myths about the devil's tower relate to bears and the Great Spirit who help their warriors not to be hunted. Every year, thousands of climbers travel the country to the phonolite porphyry walls of Devils Tower to climb columnar pillars and intensive crack systems. If the columnar walls of Devils Tower call for you, respect the ban and don't go up during the month of June.
Many years ago, a resident of northeastern Wyoming was visiting Yankton, South Dakota, where he showed a photograph of the Devil's Tower to six elderly Sioux Indians. In addition to the Devils Tower in WY, only a few of the oldest attractions include Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the United States, which was established in 1872. The Great Spirit came to their rescue by placing them on top of Mateo Tepe, the rock formation of Devils Tower.