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Devil's Tower National Monument

Devil’s Tower




Location: Crook County, WY   Map

Age: 50 million years

Height: 865 ft (265 m)

Alternative Native American names:

Cheyenne, Crow: Bear's House

Crow: Home of bears

Arapaho: Bear's Tipi

Lacota: Matho Thipila (literally "Bear Lodge") or Ptehe Gi ("Buffalo Horn")

Kiowa: Aloft on a Rock, Tree Rock




Description of Devil's Tower National Monument

Devil's Tower National Monument is located in Crook County, Wyoming in United States.  Devil's Tower National Monument is a unique geologic formation known as a laccolithic butte composed of igneous rock. It was formed as a plug in a former volcano. Lava made its way to the surface of the volcano and solidified. Over thousands of years remains of the mountain underwent erosion leaving this majestic monument to natural beauty. Lakota Native tribes called this notable formation Matho Thipila (literally "Bear Lodge") or Ptehe Gi ("Buffalo Horn"). It reaches a height of 865 ft (265 m). Devil's Tower is a popular destination of with mountain climbers that dare to make up its vertical slopes every year.





The landscape surrounding the Devil's Tower consists mainly of sedimentary rocks. The oldest rocks visible in the National Monument were in a shallow sea during the Middle or Late Triassic period, 225 to 195 million years ago. This dark red sandstone and garnet siltstone, interspersed with slate, can be seen along the Belle Fourche river. Oxidation of iron minerals causes reddening of the rocks. This layer of rock is known as the Spearfish Formation. On the Spearfish Formation there is a thin band of gypsum, called Gypsum Springs Formation. This layer of plaster was deposited during the Jurassic period, 195 to 136 million years ago. Created as sea levels and climates changed repeatedly, grayish shales (deposited in low oxygen environments such as salt marshes) were interspersed with fine-grained sandstones, limestones, and sometimes fine beds of red clay.

During the Paleocene era, 56 to 66 million years ago, the Rocky Mountains and the Black Hills rose. The magma ascended through the crust and intruded the layers of existing sedimentary rocks. The igneous material that forms the Devil's Tower is a phorolytic porphyrid intruded some 40.5 million years ago, in the Eocene, As the magma cooled and its volume decreased, cracks formed at predominant angles of 120 degrees, forming the hexagonal columns (sometimes of 4, 5 and 7 sides), each of about 180 cm in diameter.

The mass of igneous rock, already crystallized, did not manifest itself in the landscape until the sedimentary rocks that covered and surrounded it eroded. As the elements eroded the softer sandstones and shales, the more resistant igneous rock resisted the erosion forces to a greater extent. As a result, the gray columns of the Devil's Tower began to appear as an isolated mass highlighting the landscape.



Fees and permits

Park entrance fees are $10 for a private vehicle, or $5 for a hiker, bicyclist or motorcyclist. All entrance fees are valid for seven consecutive days.

There are several passes for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes provide free entry at national parks and national wildlife refuges, and also cover standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. These passes are valid at all national parks including Devils Tower National Monument:

The $80 Annual Pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue) can be purchased by anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free annual pass in person at a federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can obtain a Senior Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site for $80, or through the mail for $90; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and age. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities. Seniors can also obtain a $20 annual pass.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities can obtain an Access Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site at no charge, or through the mail for $10; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.
Individuals who have volunteered 250 or more hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program can receive a free Volunteer Pass.
4th graders can receive an Annual 4th Grade Pass that allows free entry for the duration of the 4th grade school year (September-August) to the bearer and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. Registration at the Every Kid in a Park website is required.
In 2018 the National Park Service will offer four days on which entry is free for all national parks: January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 21 (1st Day of NPS Week), September 22 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day weekend).





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