Devils Tower National Monument
Just across the South Dakota border in Wyoming is a site worth the drive from Rapid City, Devils Tower National Monument. It towers over 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River, creating one of the most striking naturally formed landscapes in the country. The astounding geologic feature stretches directly upward, an isolated monolith looming high above the forests and rolling prairie meadows surrounding the Black Hills. A formation so striking that in 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed it as the first national monument.
Devils Tower is located northwest on US Hwy 14 and WY Hwy 24. It’s an enjoyable hour and forty-minute scenic cruise through the Black Hills to Devils Tower National Monument, making it an easy addition to an already epic vacation while staying in Rapid City.
1-7 Day Pass:
- $25.00 for a single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers.
- $20.00 for a single motorcycle and operator/passenger.
- $15.00 for one individual when entering on foot or bicycle. Individuals 15 years of age or younger are admitted free. This may also be used to calculate cost for organized non-profit groups (service organizations, scout groups, religious groups, etc.).
These entrance fees are based upon the seating capacity of the commercial tour vehicle - not the actual number of passengers.
- $25.00 seating capacity 1-6 people - plus $15/person, not to exceed $40.
- $40.00 seating capacity 7-25 people.
- $100.00 seating capacity 26 or more people.
A visit to Devils Tower National Monument promises a variety of activities and adventures for you to enjoy. From camping to climbing to stargazing, the natural wonder of Devils Tower offers a wealth of exciting discovery.
The Visitor Center is open year-round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Visitors can browse exhibits about the geological, natural and cultural history of the monument. For more information, call 605-718-8484 or visit the Devils Tower page on the National Parks Service website.
A full schedule of interpretive activities and ranger-led programs is offered Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, with some programs continuing into September. Programs can include a tower walk, natural and cultural talks, a Junior Ranger Program and evening programs held under the stars. A full listing of programs is available in the Visitor Center.
Vertical faces of igneous rock with hundreds of parallel cracks make Devils Tower one of the most appealing places for traditional crack climbing in North America. Technical rock climbing is permitted, but all climbers must register at the Visitor Center before climbing, and then check-in afterwards upon departure. Because the site is considered sacred by Native American tribes, there is a voluntary climbing closure during the month of June.
There are approximately eight miles of hiking trails at Devils Tower that take you around the monument. Some of the popular paths are paved and accessible, while others take you through forests and prairie meadows.
Devils Tower National Monument and the surrounding area are home to a diverse range of plants and animals, making it a popular destination for wildlife viewing. You may spot bison, mule and white deer, porcupines, prairie dogs, bats, turkey and rattlesnakes among the Ponderosa Pine forests and cottonwood-dotted fields of the monument, or prairie falcons nesting in the cracks of Devils Tower.
Visiting Devils Tower promises natural wonder and Native American cultural discovery. A place of great spiritual significance, Devils Tower is considered sacred to over two-dozen Native American tribes. Traditional and modern cultural and spiritual ceremonial activities continue here, including prayer offerings, vision quests and the Sun Dance. There are many stories among Native American tribes surrounding the formation and spiritual significance of Devils Tower. One particular American Indian legend holds that Devils Tower sprang up from the earth just in time to save a group of warriors from a gigantic bear; the fluted nature of the tower formed as the bear pawed at the rock. You can read more about the culture and legends surrounding Devils Tower here.
At Devils Tower National Monuments pets must be leashed at all times and are only allowed in picnic areas, the campground, and along roadways and parking areas. No pets are allowed on the hiking trails or within park buildings.