Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. USA Description coordinates photo

Devil’s Tower

Devil’s Tower is a huge rock, which is located in the middle of the plain. It is located this natural formation in the United States, in the state of Wyoming. Perhaps if there were mountains nearby, then the “tower” would not cause such excitement. However, there is no elevation near the rock. Therefore, the ancient people who lived in these territories perceived the Devil’s Tower as a creation of divine hands or the devil’s machinations. For a long time no one could believe that the tower was a natural formation.

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Legends of the Devil’s Tower

There are quite a few legends about this place. Local Native American tribes tell of seven sisters who were walking through the neighborhood, in the woods. When they were about to return home, they were attacked by a bear. The girls climbed onto a tiny rock and begged to God, begging for their lives. Suddenly the rock began to grow and grew very tall, and the furious grizzly scratched at the rock with his claws, but he could not reach his sisters. The bear’s claws left distinctive marks on the Devil’s Tower, which became another of her mysteries. After all, they look like evenly ruled strips and even have sharp corners. After this story, the mountain was nicknamed the Bear’s Den. And the girls, by the way, never came back to earth, they became stars.

There is another Indian legend, which says that on the mountain lived a demon. He liked to beat a drum and scare people. On them he sent lightning, from which it is impossible to hide. By the way, even now you can see how lightning strikes the Devil’s Tower during thunderstorms. This is quite impressive even for modern man, what to say about the ancient Indians, who believed that the mountain is a place of residence of the demon. So the tribes settled as far away from the unusual rock as possible. Although there were some Indians who believed the Devil’s Tower was divine and worshipped it.

Modernity has spawned other stories about Devil’s Tower. Many believe that there is a high probability of encountering aliens here. You can often see unusual light phenomena on the rock, so ufologists have suggested that the Devil’s Tower is a real alien spaceport. Such stories could not be overlooked by moviegoers. That’s why Devil’s Tower can be seen in many UFO movies. One of the most famous was directed by Spielberg.

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Conquering the summit

The height of the rock is only 398 meters, but for a long time no one could conquer the tower. Its walls are steep, the ascent is very steep, and the fame of the mountain, in general, ominous. The Devil’s Tower was first conquered by an unknown local who had climbed the rock without the necessary equipment. No one knows how he did it until now, because not all climbers dare to climb even with upgraded modern equipment. The first professional who climbed the Devil’s Tower was Jack Durrance. He did it in 1938.

Several years passed after that, but no one dared to go up. And then George Hopkins, an experienced skydiver, showed up. He decided to become famous as the conqueror of Devil’s Tower from the air. He descended his parachute to the top with almost no problems, but as it turned out, getting down from the top is much harder than getting to the top. There was no way George Hopkins could get down from the top. He was airlifted food and medicine. They could not take him by plane because of the strong air currents. The helicopters would not land on the summit either. The strong winds would not even let the hapless explorer drop a rope so that he could climb up into the cockpit of the helicopter.

In general, the only thing left was to ask the climbers to climb up and then to lower the parachutist down. But as it turned out, no one wanted to risk their lives. Several climbers, after thinking about it, decided that they would not be able to cope with the task. We had to look for and call for the help of the same Jack Durrance. He led the rescue team through his route and was able to conquer the summit once more, and the parachutist was lowered down in a cradle. He was terrified of the Devil’s Peak. After all, as it turned out, whole packs of rats lived there, attacking him at night and stealing his food. So for a whole week while he was there he had not to sleep, but to fight the hordes of rats, who not only climbed up there in an incomprehensible way, nobody even knows what they were eating and what they were doing at such a height.

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After this incident, the notoriety of the Devil’s Tower was only strengthened. Now, however, there are those who want to climb to the top and even laid special routes, but there are not so many daredevils, although the height for professionals is ridiculous. A lot more ordinary tourists, just coming to look at the rock, which by the definition of scientists is not so mysterious, it was just formed from magma in the ancient sea, and then when it retreated, the winds grinded more than 200 million years, so it has such an unusual shape.

Devil’s Tower in the U.S.

In the U.S. state of Wyoming there is an unusual rock, which has the eloquent name of “Devil’s Tower”. We will try to tell you about all the mysteries and features of this place.

Devil's Tower - photo

The shape and location of the rock

The mysterious mountain is located in the northeastern part of Wyoming, in the Bell Fourche River Valley.

The mountain is 386 meters high and was formed about 65 million years ago. The height above sea level is 1558 meters. The rock is of volcanic origin. Magma rose from the depths to the surface and froze in the form of hexagons. Scientists believe that magma froze in the vent of the volcano, which then was destroyed, otherwise it would have just spread out on the plain and not take such a clear shape. The formation consists of dark red sandstone and siltstone with shale interlayers. The top of the mountain is absolutely flat, and its walls are composed of separate blocks. This is the result of centuries of wind erosion and weathering, as a result of which the softer rocks were destroyed and the harder ones came out.

The mountain is located on a plateau and stands in stark contrast to the surrounding landscape. In 1906, it was the first natural site to be designated a National Monument in the country. President Roosevelt gave the rock that status. The area around the monument was recognized as a National Park.

In good weather, the mountain can be seen from a distance of one hundred and sixty kilometers.

Legends of the creation of the rock

Because of its unusual shape and location, Devil’s Tower has become a sacred place for locals. For this reason, even today, the Indians sue the local authorities to limit the flow of tourists to the mountain.

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Devil's Tower - how to get there

There are many legends about the origin of the mountain.

The Indian legend of the tower for the seven girls

One legend tells of 7 girls who were attacked by a huge bear in the forest. They tried to run away from the beast, but it chased them on their heels. Out of despair, the children climbed a high rock and asked for help from the Great Spirit. The deity responded to their prayers, and the stone began to rise above the plain. To reach the children, the bear began to climb upwards, but he failed. The stone grew and grew until the children rose up into the sky and turned into the stars of the Pleiades there. It is believed that its claw marks are still visible on the walls of the rock.

The legend of the evil spirit

Another legend says that the rock was created by a demon, on top of it he knocked on a magic drum and thus caused thunder and lightning. The local tribes called the mountain the Tower of the Bad God and tried not to establish settlements near it. This legend became the basis for the modern name given to the mountain by Richard Dodge in 1875.

Native American beliefs about the mountain vary, with some tribes fearing the place and others worshipping it.

The first conquest of Devil’s Rock

The first ascent of the rock was made by local resident William Rogers in 1893. It took him two years to carry out his plan. All this time he trained and built a long ladder for the ascent. Its total length was three hundred and fifty feet. The ascent was scheduled for Independence Day. Many people knew about it and came to see the process. At first Rogers used a ladder, and when it ran out, he climbed simply up the stone pillars of the mountain. When he got to the top, he planted an American flag on it, which was blown off by the wind that same day. Enterprising people found the flag at the foot, tore it up, and sold it as souvenirs.

Two years later Rogers’ wife repeated the feat, becoming the first woman to conquer the mountain.

The couple’s ladder was fixed on the southwest side, and for another thirty-five years helped those who wished to overcome obstacles, until it crumbled from old age.

Jack Durrance repeated the ascent of the mountain in 1938; he was a skier and a climber, and climbed with mountaineering equipment.

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Rescue of the first man on the tower

The third man to overcome the impregnable monolith was George Hopkins. He was a parachutist, and jumped onto the mountain from an airplane in 1941.

It was Hopkins who became the tower’s first hostage. It turned out that going down was not easy. The prisoner tried to drop ropes from an airplane, but the strong wind blew them off and they fell past. It was also impossible to use a plane or an airship due to unsuitable weather conditions.

Soon the news spread around the country and many curious people gathered around the rock. The prisoner was given access to a live broadcast where he shared his impressions of what was happening.

They started dropping food and equipment on the parachutist from airplanes, this way various companies wanted to advertise their products, but most things just fell into the abyss. Hopkins even began to ask on the radio to stop throwing all sorts of loads at him. The man was quickly running out of strength, even though he had plenty of food supplies. High winds and cold at night took their toll. The rats that lived on the rock also plagued him, and each night they became more insolent and were no longer afraid of the man.

Experienced climber Ernesto Field and his friend Gorrell were called in for the rescue operation. Although the climbers had previously climbed mountains several kilometers high, they could not climb the tower. After three hours of trying, they reported they were not up to the task.

Given the difficulty of the situation, the rescue committee began a search for Durrance, who had already climbed the rock face. He was found after 24 hours in Dartmoon. Only a day later he was able to arrive in Wyoming and began preparations for the climb. The storming of the mountain began at noon, even though the summit was obscured by fog. Under Durrance’s clear leadership, the rescue team was able to reach the summit and rescue the exhausted captive. Hopkins remained on the rock for a full week.

Devil’s Tower on a map

Devil’s Tower National Monument is located in Great Plains, Circle County.

  • 44º 35′ 23.95″ north latitude;
  • 104º 41′ 47.88″; west longitude.

On a topographic map of the area, the cliff would be easy to spot on the Plains.

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Here is the location of the rock:

  • location on the topographic map:

Devil's Tower on the topographical map

  • satellite view:

Devil's Tower - satellite view

The rock nowadays

Nowadays, the unusual rock is very popular among professional and amateur climbers. To conquer the rock, people come from all over the world. The interest of climbers to the rock is caused by its unusual shape and structure. A person with no climbing experience is unlikely to climb the mountain the first time. To overcome it, you need to have experience in crevasse climbing, and moving up the mountain in stride. The difficulty for climbers is that the walls of the mountain have a smooth surface and there are almost no ledges to grab on to. It is also difficult to hammer a hook or a special spacer into the solid volcanic rock, which is used mainly by mountaineers. Strong winds cause difficulties, blowing away the ropes and interfering with the normal ascent process.

There are several climbing routes to the summit. The longest route is almost 3 km long, and the shortest route is just over a kilometer.

There is a special picnic site and a tourist bureau near the cliff, which provides detailed information about the area. You can also have lunch, buy souvenirs, and hire a tour guide. The site is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Each year in June, the local authorities are asked to refrain from climbing the mountain, as this period is considered sacred by the Indians. If climbers do not heed this request, the local population considers it disrespectful to their culture.

The closest campsite, Belle French Campground, is four kilometers from the mountain. The campground is open only in the summer, from May to September. The cost of parking is twelve dollars per day per car. The area is designed for fifty places.

The price for parking near the rock is ten dollars per day per car. This amount includes a tourist fee for each person who arrives. To park a motorcycle, you have to pay five dollars. If the tourist arrives by cab, he pays five dollars to visit the park.

You can get to the Tower by cab or rental car, there is no public transportation in the area. If coming from Sundance Township, take WY24, and if coming from Morecroft Township, take US-14.

Visit a unique place on the planet and experience the beauty for yourself. In the meantime, we suggest you watch a video overview of the place:

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