Devils Tower

page 2


Devils Tower
tips and insights

Climbing Devils rock

Thousands of rock-climbers scale the monolith per year. In 1995, the National Park Service asked climbers to voluntarily not scale Devils Tower every June to allow American Indians to hold their sacred ceremonies without distractions. This request has generated serious displeasure among some climbers, but most have obliged. For non-climbers, a 2.2 kilometer (1.3 mile) nature trail encircles Devils Tower.

Indian legends

There are many Indian legends about the rock. My favorite tells us that a hungry bear tried to attack seven little girls picking flowers. To protect them, the Great Spirit raised the rock they were standing on (which created the monolith) and transformed them into stars (the Pleiades Constellation). The bear's unsuccessful attempt to climb up left claw marks (the vertical cracks between the columns).


American Indians call it by various names. Bears Lodge is the most common. Grammatically, the English-language name should be "Devil's Tower", with the apostrophe. The error has been around ever since a geologist named it in 1875. The monolith has been whimsically called as a "giant tree stump".

Visitor count

About 400,000 people visit the Devils Tower National Park each year.

Learn More

for Devils Tower tips - Page 1

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Photo by Rolf Blauert - PD



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