Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

Natural Wonders: Devil’s Tower, WY

Marvel at America's first national monument.

The Wonder Jutting 867 feet from base to summit, Wyoming’s Devils Tower formed 50 to 60 million years ago, when magma welled up through sandstone and cooled, producing six-sided vertical columns of grayish, igneous rock. Erosion eventually revealed the tower, which President Theodore Roosevelt named a monument in 1906.

The Way Take the Red Beds Trail for an uncrowded, three-mile dirt-and-gravel loop. Wind .5 mile through a ponderosa forest to a meadow, and look south for tower views. Switchback down 400 vertical feet to tread on the Spearfish Formation’s layer of rust-red, 225-million-year-old sedimentary rock. At 1.8 miles, look left for Belle Fourche River views. Return through the pines. nps.gov/deto

Leave a Reply