It’s not every hike that combines perfect, summer evening weather with a place so rich in history that the very air feels charged or spiritual. A hike last weekend at Devils Tower in Wyoming succeeded on both counts.

The weather was a perfect 72 degrees as the sun set, with a gentle breeze blowing to keep thing comfortable. The very air around the tower felt charged as if walking on sacred ground. Indeed, the tower has a rich history and remains spiritually significant to several area Native American tribes.

Devils Tower is an imposing, volcanic rock formation that rises 867 feet from its base. The tower was likely formed beneath the earth’s surface as a result of volcanic activity. The Bella Fourche River is credited with eroding softer layers of rock and leaving the current formation.

The tower is significant historically, both to Native American tribes in the area and to later ranchers. Several different legends have existed as to how the tower was formed, and they are a lot more fun than the official explanation!

Photo: Devils Tower

Devils Tower at Sunset

The tower is popular with a variety of visitors, including photographers and climbers. The first recorded ascent of Devils Tower occurred in 1893 when to men successfully climbed the tower using a wooden ladder. Remnants of the ladder are still visible with binoculars.

The tower is worth the detour from I-90 if you are traveling through northeastern Wyoming. It is a unique historical site with a lot of history.

Directions

Interstate 90 to the Highway 14 exit (either Moorcroft or Sundance). Take Highway 14 to Highway 24. Follow Highway 24 north to Devils Tower National Monument.