Some places are simply breathtaking. Devils Tower National Monument is one such destination.
Whether you’re a climber, a hiker, a biker, or simply love nature and its many wonders, Devils Tower is the kind of place that pushes you to reach new heights.
Established in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, the 1,347 acres surrounding Devils Tower is a paradise of nature’s beauty, wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Hiking in Devils Tower
Hiking in the park is a great way to explore and enjoy Devils Tower National Monument. There are 4 main hiking trails in the park.
Tower Trail - The Tower Trail is the most popular hike in the park. This paved 1.3-mile trail starts in the parking area across from the Visitor Center. The trail goes through ponderosa pine forest and the boulder field. Interpretative signs explain some of the geology and ecology of Devils Tower National Monument. You will find benches along the path to enjoy views of the Tower. As you walk the Tower Trail, you may notice cloths or small bundles attached to the trees. These are Native American prayer cloths, and represent the spiritual connection many tribes have with the Tower. Please do not touch, disturb or remove these prayer cloths.
Red Beds Trail - This 2.8-mile loop of the Red Beds Trail will offer great views of the Tower and surrounding Belle Fourche River valley. You can access this trail from the Visitor Center parking area.
Joyner Ridge Trail - Along the north boundary of the park is a 1.5-mile loop trail that follows Joyner Ridge and dips down into the draw below the ridge. One of the more scenic but less utilized trails in the park, Joyner Ridge Trail provides beautiful views of the Tower, especially around sunset. Access the trailhead by taking the dirt road from the main park road as you head to or leave the Visitor Center. A 0.6-mile connector trail links Joyner Ridge with Red Beds.
South Side / Valley View Trails - Both of these trails start from the amphitheater and proceed through the prairie dog town 0.6 miles to link into the Red Beds Trail. A nice 1.5-mile circuit can be made from the amphitheater by using a section of Red Beds.
Climbing Devils Tower
Devils Tower is a favorite destination among rock climbers. Climbers are required to obtain a free permit from the National Park Service before beginning their climb. Failure to obtain a permit is subject to citation and fine. You may also want to be aware of the June Voluntary Climbing Closure. June is a culturally significant time when many (but not all) Indian ceremonies occur. Although voluntary, many climber chose to refrain climbing during this month.
If you plan on climbing the tower we suggest using one of the county's local guide services.
Technical difficulty ratings range from 5.7 to 5.13; many modern climbers consider the oldest routes (Durrance and Wiessner) harder than their original ratings. The majority of routes at the Tower are not bolt protected and require the appropriate selection of camming devices or other temporary anchors. The few bolted face climbs that exist were established in the 1980s and 1990s.
Wildlife, Night Skies & Visitors Center Information
Hours & Seasons
Devils Tower National Monument is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round.
Devils Tower National Monument Visitor Center
The Devils Tower National Monument Visitor Center contains interpretive exhibits, as well as the Devils Tower Natural History Association bookstore and souvenir shop. The visitor center was built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the center of the parking area outside you can find climbing registration and ranger programs (offered in the summer).
Opportunities to see the night sky, sunsets and sunrises in Devils Tower country should not be overlooked. You can simply find a great place to park, night hike to a preferred destination, or join the National Park Service on one of their Night Sky Programs. The night sky is one of many resources which Devils Tower National Monument protects. Throughout the year the park hosts night sky programs. Scheduled programs are listed on our ranger programs page or the park's event calendar.
The forests and prairies of Devils Tower National Monument provide habitat for mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and fish. Look for deer beneath the shady forest canopy or visit the prairie dogs in their town along the river.
Learn more by visiting the Devils Tower National Monument Website