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Devils Tower National Monument

Devils Tower is a laccolithic butte composed of igneous rock in the Bear Lodge Mountains near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming

Devils Tower National Monument
FORDF250HDXLT, May 7, 2017

      Native American
      names for the monolith include: "Bear's House" or "Bear's Lodge" (or "Bear's Tipi", "Home of the Bear", "Bear's Lair"; Cheyenne, Lakota Matȟó Thípila, Crow Daxpitcheeaasáao "Home of Bears"[9]), "Aloft on a Rock" (Kiowa), "Tree Rock", "Great Gray Horn",[7] and "Brown Buffalo Horn" (Lakota Ptehé Ǧí).[citation needed]

      According to the Native American tribes of the Kiowa and Lakota, a group of girls went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. In an effort to escape the bears, the girls climbed atop a rock, fell to their knees, and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground towards the heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. The bears, in an effort to climb the rock, left deep claw marks in the sides, which had become too steep to climb. (Those are the marks which appear today on the sides of Devils Tower.) When the girls reached the sky, they were turned into the stars of the Pleiades.

      American Indians
      An Arapaho dancer performs a traditional ceremony at the park's picnic shelter
      NPS photo

      Historically, many tribes of the Great Plains and Black Hills regions had connections with the area around Devils Tower. Common peoples of the region include:

      • Arapaho
      • Crow
      • Cheyenne
      • Shoshone
      • Lakota
      Most tribes that lived in or near the Black Hills had individual oral histories about the creation of the Tower. Although there are similar elements to many of these stories, they are unique in the details. The names ascribed by the various nations for the Tower also display similar variations. In modern English, they are translated as "Bear's Lodge," "Bear's Tipi," "Tree Rock," "Gray Butte," and more. Some of these stories are shared on the park website.

      Stories and histories shared by tribal members indicate that the Tower was a sacred site - a place for winter camps, vision quests, and summer ceremonies. You can learn more about how and why this place is held sacred by American Indians on our website.

      Indian tribes were gradually extirpated from the region as early white explorers, and later white settlers, arrived to the area. The United States government worked to remove the cultural ties many people had with the Black Hills and surrounding sites like the Tower. During the end of the 1900s, a rebirth of American Indian traditions and values inspired new generations to reconnect with their historical roots.

      Today, many tribes still utilize the park for traditional ceremonies. Visitors will observe prayer cloths and prayer bundles attached to trees around the park, especially along the Tower Trail. These represent a tangible connection which native peoples still maintain with this area. Please do not touch or disturb these cloths.

      Managing the national monument for both modern and traditional uses does have its challenges. As climbing became a more popular form of recreation at the Tower, Native American communities raised concerns; many view climbing the Tower as disrespectful of their sacred site. Tribal members are not unique in these concerns, and park staff work with climbers, the tribes, and all visitors to educate people about differing cultural perspectives.

      American Indians - Devils Tower National Monument

      Devils Tower (also Bear Lodge Butte[5]) is a laccolithic butte composed of igneous rock in the Bear Lodge Mountains (part of the Black Hills) near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming, above the Belle Fourche River. It rises dramatically 1,267 feet (386 m) above the Belle Fourche River, standing 867 feet (265 m) from summit to base. The summit is 5,112 feet (1,559 m) above sea level.

      Devils Tower was the first declared United States National Monument, established on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. The Monument's boundary encloses an area of 1,347 acres (545 ha).

      In recent years, about 1% of the Monument's 400,000 annual visitors climbed Devils Tower, mostly using traditional climbing techniques.[6]

      Devils Tower - Wikipedia

      It was so overcast when I drove up to the base,I couldn't see a thing! All I was able to get,was this view here from a couple miles away.Still really cool though as you can see! I've gotta go back in retirement in the summer! This ones remaining on the bucket list.Perhaps this great rock spirit doesn't want me there yet.I'll know when it's time to go back.It will call me back when It believes I'm ready to listen to it's wisdom.Ever get a calling to climb a mountain? What is that feeling anyway? Listen closer next time.You'll feel it.That's more than some desire to go for a hike.Listen to that mountain pulling your spirit.That is the mountain calling because it has something to share with you.That's the easy part,to hear it call.To listen and learn what it want's you to know once you get there,is the hard part.
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