Last Updated: 11/25/2019
Devil’s Tower National Monument is an amazing geological feature in Northeast Wyoming that was made famous in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Think mountain made of mashed potatoes. The grooves in the side of the rock are what is known as a spearfish formation, created when sea levels and the climate repeatedly changed.
Devil’s Tower, with its beauty and astounding composition, has long been a sacred spot for Native Americans. Native American tribes, many of whom refer to the monument as “Bear’s Lodge”, have oral traditions that tell of how the monument came about.
To this day, Devil’s Tower continues to attract visitors, with over 440,000 people a year visiting the monument from all over the world. On top of being one of America’s biggest geological wonders, it is also one of the best crack rock climbing locations in North America.
How to Get There
Devil’s Tower National Monument is located in Northeast Wyoming, near both the South Dakota and Montana borders. The closest large city to Devil’s Tower is Rapid City, South Dakota, which itself is a large tourist draw being that it is in close proximity to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills.
It’s just a short 1 hour and a 45-minute drive from Rapid City should you want to combine those destinations into one trip. Other large cities with airports that are in close proximity to Devil’s Tower National Monument are listed in the table below as well.
|Rapid City, South Dakota||1.75 hours|
|Casper, Wyoming||3 hours|
|Billings, Montana||4 hours|
|Bismark, North Dakota||5.5 hours|
|Denver, Colorado||6 hours|
Best Time to Visit
It can get very cold in Northeast Wyoming during the winter, but if you are looking to combine some sight-seeing with outdoor activities, the months of November thru March might suit you well. In the summer (June thru August), the temperatures are warm and rain is common, so it is really hit-and-miss on what type of weather you are going to get.
Arguably the best time to visit is during the Spring and Autumn shoulder months of April thru May and September thru October. Though it can still be quite wet during the Spring, so my favorite time to visit Devil’s Tower National Monument is during the fall. Besides, Devil’s Tower is especially beautiful with the fall leaves changing color.
|APR-MAY||62°F||33°F||Moderate temperatures, but wet.|
|JUN-AUG||83°F||51°F||Hot with occasional thunderstorms.|
|SEP-OCT||67°F||35°F||Moderate temperatures and relatively dry.|
|NOV-MAR||39°F||12°F||Cold temperatures with snow.|
Average Temperature (F)
Average Precipitation (Inches)
Average Number of Visitors (in 1,000’s)
Top Things to See and Do
Whether you are just passing thru on your way out west or staying for a number of days to enjoy this beautiful area, Devil’s Tower has an abundance of activities for you to enjoy. It is a premier rock climbing location and offers some extraordinary hiking opportunities. Below are some resources to assist you in researching and planning your trip to see Devil’s Tower National Monument.
- Devil’s Tower National Monument – Map
- Devil’s Tower National Monument – Plan Your Visit
- Devil’s Tower National Monument – Things to Do
- Deadwood South Dakota – Visitor Guide
Marvel at the Wonder of Devil’s Tower
Because of its strange geological formation and its picturesque setting, Devil’s Tower offers some amazing photography opportunities. It is especially pretty when viewed at night, with a clear, starlit sky as a backdrop.
Take a Hike
If you would like to get a little more up-close and personal, there are hiking trails that weave you thru the forest and up close to Devil’s Tower. None of the trails are especially long or difficult, so it is a great way for everyone to experience the wonders of this beautiful monument.
View the Wildlife
Apart from just being a pretty area with a strange rock formation, Devil’s Tower National Monument is also a great place to view wildlife. Many species of mammal, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish call the park their home. These include such animals as deer, pronghorn, bison (otherwise known as American buffalo), bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, beaver, porcupine, coyote, fox, mountain lion, and bobcat.
Where to Stay
If you are looking for accommodations for your trip to Devils Tower National Monument, I have included some recommended options at different price points for you to review below. For those who are interested in camping, there are a few great campsites right within the national monument. If you are looking for hotel accommodations, you can either stay at the national monument in the lodge or stay in nearby Deadwood, South Dakota, which is the closest city with hotel options.
Here are just some of the stunning pictures we were able to capture in Devil’s Tower National Monument. It’s an amazing place to explore.
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