Devils Tower National Monument

President Theodore Roosevelt declared Devil’s Tower in Wyoming as the first national monument in 1906. But for many Americans, their first view of this strange and mystical rock formation came via Steven Spielberg’s science fiction film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But the monument has a much older cultural history and has been known to Native Americans for hundreds of years as Mateo Tepee or Grizzly Bear Lodge.

According to a legend common among the Kiowa, Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, and Sioux tribes, seven young girls were out playing when they encountered a great bear that began to chase them. When the girls realized they could not outrun the bear, they jumped onto a small rock and prayed to the Great Spirit to help them. The rock then began to grow, higher and higher into the sky. The bear jumped up against the sides of the rock, leaving giant claw marks, but he could not reach the girls. The rock continued to grow up into the sky, where the girls became the seven stars of the Pleiades.

Scientists still debate the exact details on how Devil’s Tower was formed, but they agree that about 65 million years ago, molten rock was forced by the earth’s pressure into existing hard rock formations, which then cooled and formed the tower. Covered by sandstone and shale, erosion over millions of years by wind and water eventually exposed the Tower to its current height of 1,267 feet above the landscape.

Devil's Tower National Monument has obvious appeal to rock climbers, but the park also includes over 1,000 acres of woodlands and grasslands, and is home to a large "town" of black-tailed prairie dogs. Whether you are a hiker, photographer, climber, or UFO watcher, the sight of this amazing rock towering above the surrounding countryside is one that you will never forget.

—Tracey McIntire








Bobo the bear

October 17, 2014

were can i get scary facts


March 19, 2012

im doing a report on national parks and i piced Devils tower does any one have some scary facts about this park


February 14, 2012

interesting.......... O.O

Post a Comment

Share your park story today. Post your park experiences, recommendations, or tips here.*

Enter this word:

* Your comments will appear once approved by the moderator. NPCA staff do not regularly respond to postings. We reserve the right to remove comments that include profanity or personal attacks, promote products or services, or are otherwise off-topic. Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the position(s) of NPCA. By submitting comments you are giving NPCA permission to reuse your words on our website and print materials.


Want to learn more about the  ?

The   can be seen in the wild in America’s national parks. Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Sign up to protect parks in   & other states

Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association Community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Sign up to protect   and other National Parks

Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association Community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Please leave this field empty
Yes, please sign me up for NPCA’s newsletter and other emails about protecting our national parks!

National Parks Conservation Association
National Parks Conservation Association

Log In

Or log in with your connected Facebook or Twitter account:


Welcome to our growing community of park advocates. Thanks for signing up!

Sign Up:

Or sign up by connecting your Facebook or Twitter account: