In the distance, a beacon of spiritual significance and historical riches rises. Tall, robust and uniquely grooved, Devils Tower National Monument is a sight to behold, and the surrounding area combines the promises of the past with the beauty of the here and now.
The Best 12 Things to Do in Devils Tower
Welcome to Devils Tower, Wyoming, a beacon of historical riches and spiritual significance. Here, you can marvel at the towering rock formation that is Devils Tower National Monument, a sacred site and the country’s first national monument, embark on the Tower Trail, visit the Devils Tower Trading Post, or stargaze under the wide Wyoming sky.
1. Devils Tower National Monument
It’s time to see where it all began. Soaring nearly 900 feet, Devils Tower National Monument is a striking butte tucked into the Black Hills grasslands, best known for its unique geological patterns and impressive history. A Native American sacred site and the country’s first national monument, Devils Tower is a significant Wyoming landmark with plenty of things to do.
Today, it is among the prime rock-climbing destinations in the US and a hub for hikers, photographers, and outdoor lovers worldwide.
2. Tower Trail
Wyoming is the home of countless spots to take a fantastic hike, and among them is the Tower Trail, a 1.3-mile loop at the base of Devils Tower National Monument. This paved path winds around the Tower, giving visitors a close, three-dimensional look at the enormous rock from all sides.
While there is a slight incline early in the hike, most of the Tower Trail rolls flat and even through lush ponderosa pines, making it suitable for visitors of all ages and skill levels.
3. Devils Tower Trading Post
Whatever you’re hankering for while checking out Devils Tower can be found down at the Trading Post. Located near the base of the mammoth stone, this dual snack bar and gift shop has the feel of an old West general store but with nods to the Tower’s spiritual roots and its place in film history. Devils Tower played a pivotal role in Spielberg’s 1977 classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Stop in for a tasty ice cream cone, a juicy burger, and all the fun souvenirs you need to commemorate the trip.
Pro tip: For an incredible, Instagram-ready view of the Tower, grab your camera and check out the Trading Post’s back deck.
4. The Wind Circle
Devils Tower National Monument also known as Bear Lodge – is a sacred place to many indigenous tribes and for the last 15 years, there has been another one nearby. At the foot of the steep, rolling hills that lead to the Tower’s base, a 12-foot sculpture known as the Wind Circle rests surrounded by a small sitting area, designed to represent peace and harmony by Japanese artist Junkyu Muto.
Based on the imagery of rising smoke, the design is carved in white marble with an open center. Gazing through it, you will see the breathtaking Tower looming large just beyond, creating a striking portrait of peaceful coexistence.
5. Star Gazing at Devils Tower
Calling all astronomy admirers: Devils Tower is your ideal Wyoming vacation destination Whether you pack a telescope for your visit or simply take advantage of the state’s vast, open skyline, you are bound to spot twinkling constellations from several popular areas around Devils Tower.
Start at one of the Night Sky Programs hosted by the park where the monument resides, or hunker down at the Joyner Ridge Trailhead or the Circle of Sacred Smoke Sculpture and Picnic Area for excellent views of the sky show.
6. Joyner Ridge Trail
If an intermediate-level trail and stunning views of the Devils Tower National Monument are how you’d like to spend a day in Wyoming, look no further than Joyner Ridge Trail. Best known for sweeping views of the Tower off in the distance, this trail curls around it from a higher altitude, providing outdoor enthusiasts a different angle than the Tower Trail does.
Beyond the monument itself, Joyner Ridge Trail is an excellent spot to observe wildlife (particularly deer) and to immerse yourself in lush forests and grassy meadows full of wildflowers.
7. Above Ouray Ice & Tower Rock Guides
As one of America’s top rock climbing destinations, Devils Tower sees its fair share of face-scaling thrill seekers, and for good reason. If you want to try your hand while you’re there, you’ll want a guide, and Above Ouray Ice & Tower Rock Guides are here to lead the way. Keeping safety top of mind, the experts at Above Ouray have been offering ice and rock climbing services to visitors of all skill levels for nearly 40 seasons. The best part? Their rates are more than reasonable, making climbing an accessible adventure for all.
Pro tip: When planning your Devils Tower climb, remember that the site is under voluntary closure every summer for the month of June. This temporary pause is done out of respect for indigenous tribes and their ceremonies and customs at that time of year.
8. Red Beds Loop Trail
Where should visitors begin their journey in a national park packed with beautiful waterfalls? Why not start with the largest rapids they have? At over 300 feet tall, the Lower Yellowstone River Falls holds that title, providing park guests with an overpowering sense of all things natural and majestic for generations.Devils Tower allows Wyoming’s visitors to experience the outdoors in full living color, and Red Beds Loop Trail is no exception.
At just over 2 miles, this intermediate-level trail loops through the hills and valleys of the oldest sedimentary rocks in the area, known as the Spearfish Formation. This red-tinted shale gives a colorful tinge to the area’s natural beauty and makes for a lovely afternoon hike.
9. South Side Trail
Whether you want to connect to other main Devils Tower trails or admire the prairie dogs, the South Side Trail is one to remember. This trail is a short jaunt across a main artery connecting you to other spots in the park, such as Tower Trail, Joyner Ridge Trail, and the visitors center. Best of all, it’s the perfect path to take through prairie dog town and is considered a beginner trail suitable for visitors of all skill levels.
10. Prairie Dog Town
While they may not have busy highways or crowded coffee shops, prairie dogs do have their own town in Devils Tower. This 40-acre grassland, conveniently located near the Tower and all main hiking trails in the park, is a haven for the cute critters and houses a whopping 600 of them.
Willing to share their burrow-filled village with other native wildlife, you can also spot foxes, deer, and other animals in the area. Prairie dogs are adorable and entertaining but remember that these animals are wild, and please give them their space while visiting their home.
Pro tip: If hiking isn’t your thing, keep in mind that prairie dog town is visible from the road as well, so you can take in all the antics of these fluffy friends from the comfort of your vehicle.
11. Valley View Trail Loop
The Valley View Trail Loop has all the ingredients to make a classic Devils Tower experience for hiking, biking, birding, and walking. At about a mile and a half long, this trail is relatively easy to manage, without many steep inclines or difficult terrain. Visitors will enjoy the striking scenery and Devils Tower National Monument views, a close look at the area’s beautiful plant life and topography, and a peek at wildlife in their natural habitat (the trail also runs through prairie dog town!)
12. Devil’s Tower National Monument Visitor Center
If you drive the Devils Tower National Monument park road to the very end, you will find a modest log cabin from the 1930s tucked into the dense trees. This charming structure serves as the Visitor Center for the park itself and is where the park staff calls home base.
While it is undoubtedly a place you can go to if you need their assistance during your visit, there is more to explore there than meets the eye. Inside, you will find a small curation of displays and exhibits to teach you about Native American history in the area. Additionally, it contains the Devils Tower Natural History Association Bookstore.
FAQ: Things to Do in Devils Tower
Plan Your Visit to Devils Tower National Monument
If one of the best ways to experience Wyoming is in the wonder of the great outdoors, one of the best places to do that is Devils Tower. What are you waiting for? Come see it for yourself.