Devils Tower rises over 1,000 feet into the air. This geological and natural wonder is our nation’s first national monument and a scared site for many Native American tribes. Devils Tower was first protected by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The 1,347-acre park is covered with pine forests, woodlands, and grasslands located in the Black Hills of Wyoming.
The stone pillar of the monument is about 1,000 feet in diameter at the bottom and 275-feet at the top (about the size of a football field) making it a premier rock climbing destination. Climbers delight in the difficulty of the climbs along the hundreds of parallel cracks. Routes are typically long and sustained in grade, so climbers should bring plenty of gear. To help protect the tower, the National Parks Service has developed a climbing management plan that includes voluntary closures of routes. Some routes are also annually closed from March to July to protect the nesting areas of Prairie Falcons.
You don’t have to climb the tower to appreciate it. Ranger-led nature walks and a 1.3-mile interpretative trail provide insight into the significance of the park’s geology, indigenous people, prescribed burns, wildlife and plants.
Location: approx. 2 ½ hours from Custer, near Sundance, Wyoming
Hours/Seasonality: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visitor Center open daily hours vary by season.
Fees/Reservations: Vehicle Pass-$10 (good for seven days)
Things to Consider: There is no professional rescue team at Devils Tower and the nearest trauma center is approximately 60 miles away. Climbers do so at their own risk.