Mar 09

Devils Tower National Monument – Wyoming

Devils Tower Devils Tower National Monument is such a unique place that it became the United State’s first national monument when it was designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.  The park is relatively small at just around two-square miles and it is set in a beautiful area of the country on the western edge of the Black Hills.  What makes the Devils Tower so special is that it spectacularly rises out of the surrounding terrain.  The tower can be seen from miles away due to the mainly flat land that surrounds the tower.  Seeing it rise out of nowhere and it just keeps growing the closer the road gets it just seems unreal.
The Tower Trail

I had heard and knew about Devils Tower for a long time, but Karen had no idea what I was talking about when I suggested we check it out on our why to Yellowstone.  So, to help her understand it I DVR’D Close Encounters of the Third Kind to get her in the mood to see the monument.  After watching it I was tempted to start sculpting my mash potatoes, but she said that she was willing to go if it was not too far out of the way.  One of the neat things for me about researching the Devils Tower was learning about all of the Native American legends surrounding the tower.  Most of them deal with either boys or maidens being chased through the wilderness by a giant grizzly.  Before the grizzly could reach them they would pray to the Creator for safety and the earth would rise up from the ground taking the boys or maidens to safely.  However the bear did not give up so easily trying claw its way to them leaving the deep gashes still seen to this day, which is why some tribes call it Bear Rock.
Circle of Sacred Smoke

Since we were traveling from Rapid City to Red Lodge Montana we had a long day ahead of us and did not get to spend as time there as we wanted to.  Karen and I did the 1.3 mile Tower Trail that goes directly around the tower.  From that trail we were able to see some of the mountain climbers that were making their way to the top of the 1,267 granite monolith.  It was a nice walk I just hope the next time that we are there we will be able to take some of the outlying trails and see some more of the countryside.
Prairie dogs

Devils Tower National Monument is well worth the drive to see especially if you are heading west to see some of the other attractions in the state of Wyoming.  Besides seeing the granite tower up close and personal a visitor can hike the 13 miles of trails the park has to offer.  Some of those trails go through the decent size prairie dog town that lives in the park.  There is also a very unique sculpture called the Circle of Scared Smoke which gives a wonderful photo opportunity to frame the tower.

Devils Tower National Monument
Located Off Highway 24 in the northeastern part of Wyoming
Open 24 hours a day year round while the visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week
Cost as of 2012 is $10 per private vehicle, $5 for one person motorcycle, and $5 per individual
For more information visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/deto/index.htm

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  1. Emm

    What stunning photos! I have only been to NYC and DC in the US but I really want to make it out to the great outdoors and see more of your national parks and old towns. Thank you for taking a close up of the monument, I noticed that in your first photo.

    I found your blog by clicking on a BlogHer link by the way. I am off to explore more.

    1. Kenny and Karen

      Thanks for that wonderful comment. The United States has some amazing scenery especially out West. If you ever make it back to the states we highly suggest the west coast and the rocky mountains.

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