This summer, we spent some time in Deadwood and Rapid City, South Dakota but also took a little detour over to Devils Tower in Wyoming. This National Monument is a popular destination for climbers and bikers as well as fans of the sci-fi movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.
On a tight time schedule? Here’s my best tip for how to get some great pictures of Devil’s Tower!
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As you drive on SD 24, you will go through the town of Avalon, population 15! I’ve been to a lot of small towns in the US, but I think Aladdin is probably one of the smallest.
As you get closer, you will get some great views of Devil’s Tower across the farmland. Pull off the road and look for the best angles!
The Tower is an astounding geologic feature that protrudes out of the prairie surrounding the Black Hills. It is considered sacred by Northern Plains Indians and indigenous people. Hundreds of parallel cracks make it one of the finest crack climbing areas in North America. Devils Tower entices us to learn more, explore more and define our place in the natural and cultural world.Read More
Admission & Fees
If you want the full experience of Devil’s Tower, you can pay the fee to enter the Devils Tower National Monument. (Enter for free with your National Park Annual Pass!)
However, if you are on a tight schedule like we were, there is a great way to enjoy Devil’s Tower for FREE.
Devil’s Tower Trading Post
Right outside the entrance to the National Monument, the Devil’s Tower Trading Post is a perfect place for ice cream, snacks, and a restroom break. There is even free wifi so you can post your travel pictures! Don’t forget to visit the back deck for the best views and photos of Devils Tower.
If you have seen “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” you will recognize the 865 foot tower from the movie. In order to keep up with the space theme, the Devil’s Tower Trading Post offers some unique alien souvenirs and even the elusive jackalope stuffed animals.
By not going into the Park, we didn’t get up close or get to experience everything that Devil’s Tower National Monument has to offer, but sometimes you have to make choices on road trips. We knew there were miles to go before supper, so we chose to enjoy Devil’s Tower from a distance and keep on going to Deadwood so we could get to dinner at the Gem Palace.
Have you ever visited Devil’s Tower in Wyoming? Did you stop at the Trading Post? I’d love to hear your ideas on how the Tower came to be formed.
Looking for a great place to sleep after visiting Devil’s Tower? Drive over to Deadwood, South Dakota and check out the Lodge at Deadwood! (sponsored)
WHERE TO STAY: THE LODGE AT DEADWOOD
The Lodge at Deadwood sits just outside the city and overlooks the Black Hills and high plains of South Dakota. The vibe is laid back and family friendly with a great swim area for the family as well as fitness room and even casinos if you are interested.