This past fall I got to revisit Devils Tower 17 years after my first visit there, and it was still just a majestic and wonderful as my first visit those many years ago. Andrew had viewed Devils Tower from some of it’s many roadside vantage points with his family long ago, but it was his first time actually visiting the monument.
You pay a small entrance fee to visit the monument. From the entrance area, the road begins to wind upward towards the parking for the tower. Along the way, you will encounter several roadside pull outs where you can view the prairie dog towns.
You will continue upward towards the tower, passing a roadside turnout for the campground along the way. There are several parking areas as you near the tower. I suggest just finding a spot in one of the gravel lots as we did, instead of trying to find one in the paved lot/loop area near the visitor center. You’ll have to walk a bit further, but it’s better than searching for a spot. The visitor center has a small gift shop, and informational area, and restrooms accessed from the outside on the lower level. In the middle of the parking loop, there are also some picnic tables and an area for groups to meet. The tower stands majestically in front of you.
Devils Tower offers several different trails but we decided to take the paved (and most popular) Tower Trail. We decided to head out clockwise around the trail. We reached a fun vantage point shortly into the hike, but you are never truly without a few of the tower.
The portion of the tower is actually quite wooded and if you aren’t near other groups along the trail, it’s very peaceful!
Along the way, it’s also fun to stop and watch the different rock climbers scaling the tower. The photo below actually contains an old wooden ladder that was used in climbs long ago. Many still try to stick close to that route today.
The front portion of the monument is very rocky, and you can actually have some fun climbing on the boulders to get a closer view.
After completing the hike, we drove down towards the campground area to view the Sacred Smoke Monument and get another fun photo op in. The history of the sculpture is very interesting!
Finally, before we left the area, we decided to stop off and view the prairie dogs one last time, this time actually taking a small trail further into their colony. I was amazed at how close we could get before they would scurry down their holes to safety!
Devils Tower is a must for anyone visiting Wyoming! It is such a unique place and offers great hiking opportunities. We loved the morning we spent there! Someday it would be fun to camp there and hike even more of the trails!
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