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Devils Tower, Wyoming

Went to Devils Tower yesterday for fun. You know the place. It’s where the aliens landed in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” 😉 First, let me say that while it is quite large, no way it has enough room on top for that base nor can you climb it the way they did but hey it’s the movies and some license is allowed. It was still a great movie and now that I have been there, I can stop playing with my mashed potatoes.

Devils Tower1, Wyoming Devils Tower2, WyomingDevils Tower3, Wyoming

Going there is like going to Disneyland in the old days when you could see the Matterhorn for miles away before you got there and everyone gets all excited immediately on sight. Poor Dad would have to put up with all the giddy noise long before we actually got there. Same thing.

I did go a mile out of my way first to see a 110 year old general store and post office in Aladdin, Wyoming first. It is still in operation and the wood floors are quite creaky. Upstairs is antiques for sale or browsing.

Devils Tower is a national monument so you will have to pay $10 to get in to the park to see it unless you have a Golden Eagle yearly pass like some of us full-time travelers do. Getting in through the gate was fast.

The visitor’s center is about 3 miles from the gate. You will drive by the Prairie Dog Village which is a large meadow full of holes and little chipmunk-like creatures hanging out near them while eating or playing. It was rather cute to stop and watch a bit. Looks a lot like the suburbs. Snicker.

On up to the tower, you’ll find decent parking, a place for RVs to park along the side, an informative visitor’s center, bookstore/gift shop, National Park passport stamps, great photo ops, telescopes, and excellent trails to hike. The one around the base which is paved was pretty easy for me once I got up the steep 100 yard incline to it. Thank goodness they have benches here and there. I couldn’t do the whole mile but what I did do was great. Pain from previous personal injuries and impending rain sent me back down.

Rock field People hiking the base trailValley View

The tower truly is impressive with all the columns on it’s sides and the rock fields which surround it. The rocks come from the tower so watch out! Watch for rattlesnakes as well they warn and stay on the path.

You will see a lot of colored pieces of cloth and bundles hanging in the trees. Please don’t touch those as they are put there by local Indian tribes as part of religious ceremonies held at Devils Tower in June. The real name of the tower is Bear Lodge according to legend and the tower is not evil nor has anything to do with Devils. Some stupid colonel renamed it Devils Tower during an expedition and no one knows why.

Indian cloths

Lots of climbers come to visit. During June they ask them to voluntarily not climb the tower out of respect for the Indians and their religious beliefs. You have to get a permit at the visitor’s center to climb. The first climbers actually used ladders. The next year the climbers’ wives repeated the climb with the ladders.

There is a KOA right outside the park entrance if interested in going there and there’s a motel nearby. Trail rides are available right there. Ice cream at the general store outside the gate is a must after a visit.

Oh I learned something about Wyoming that made me appreciate it more. They officially made women equals and gave them the vote 50 years before the rest of the nation!

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