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Devils Tower

Devils Tower is the United States First National Monument named on September 24, 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

$25 per vehicle/$20 per motorcycle/$15 if you are on foot.

Pilgrimage Focus

Suggested Spiritual Practices

History of the Site

Devils Tower was first recorded in history in 1859 in an US led expedition by Captain William F. Raynold while traveling to Yellowstone. Colonel Richard Irving Dodge then led another expedition specifically to collect scientific research in 1875, which was when the tower was given it's name.
There has been plenty of controversy about the name as Native Americans would like the tower to be renamed to Bear Lodge. There have been public hearings which have resulted in no changes.
Devils Tower is a popular venue for rock climbing which, too, has created controversy. It was first recorded to have been climbed on July 4, 1893 by two local ranchers. They completed their first ascent by creating a wooden ladder which is still visible today. Because Devils Tower is seen as a sacred site by Native Americans they do want people to climb the butte. During the month of June a voluntary climbing ban is observed when tribes conduct ceremonies around the monument.

Spiritual Significance

The tower is sacred to several Plains tribes including: Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa. This is based upon their version of the legend. As you travel around the tower, there is a paved path way where you will find many Native American prayer bundles.
The Lakota and Kiowa believe a band of girls, in an attempt to escape a bear who was chasing them, climbed on top of a large rock, fell to their knees and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. As they prayed, the rock grew bringing to girls to the heavens. The bear attempted to climb the rock, which left great groove marks you still see in the tower today. The legend says once the girls reached the heavens they became stars.
Sioux Indians have a similar but slightly different version of two boys running from Mato, the bear, (an extremely large bear who was said to have claws the size of teepee poles). The boys, too, fell to their knees on a rock and prayed to Wakan Tanka, the Creator. The legend goes onto say the bear can still be found just east of the tower in what is known as Bear Butte. Wanblee, an eagle, rescued the boys. You can find a painting of this particular legend at the Visitors Center.
There are several other Native American legends about the tower.

Nearby Church

Church of the Good Shepherd
602 E. Main Street
Sundance, Wyoming
Services begin at 9:30am



There are motels in the three communities in Crook County, Hulett, Moorcroft and Sundance.



North east Wyoming, north of I-90 (if you are in Hulett, you can't miss it)

Contact Info

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