President Roosevelt, an ardent Conversationalist, sponsored the National Monuments Act, which was passed on June 8, 1906. The Devils Tower was the first monument to be preserved because of its historic, prehistoric, and scientific interest.
Devils Tower History Facts: FAQ's (Frequently asked Questions)
Where is the Devils Tower? Its location is in the Black Hills near Hulett and Sundance, Crook County, northeastern Wyoming
Why is it called the Devils Tower? the interpreter for Colonel Richard Irving Dodge's expedition misinterpreted the Native American name to mean "Bad God's Tower", which was later shortened to the Devil's Tower
How was it formed? Geology: From molten rock (magma or cooled lava) forced upwards from deep within the earth
What is on top of the Devils Tower? Vegetation, chipmunks and small rodents are found on top
What movie was the Devils Tower in? The 1977 movie 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' starring Richard Dreyfuss
How tall is the Devils Tower? It is 867 feet from its base to the summit and takes 4 to six hours to climb
How far is it around the Tower? The circumference at the base is 1 mile.
Devils Tower Facts and Info for kids: Devils Tower Legend
Devils Tower Facts and Info for kids: Brief Facts for kids via the Fact Sheet
The awe-inspiring monument is located in the State of Wyoming, near the Belle Fourche River in Crook County
What is it made of? Geology: It is made of phonolite porphyry and the monument is believed to be the remnant of a volcanic neck.
The Devils Tower is 867 feet from its base to the summit
It towers above the Fourche River and stands as the most widely recognized landmark of the northern Great Plains.
Colors: The colors of the shale, siltstone and sandstone range from red, yellow, gray, and green. Parts of the slopes are colored with white gypsum
The Monument's boundary encloses an area of 1,347 acres
Elevation: The summit of the Devils Tower is 1,560 m (5,117 ft) above sea level
The top of the monument measures 55 m (180 ft) from east to west and 91 m (300 ft) from north to south and rises about 386 m (1,267 ft) above the Belle Fourche River
When was the Devils Tower formed? Geology: Erosion has removed the Paleozoic and Mesozoic rock layers from the central dome, exposing Precambrian rocks that make up the core of the uplift. The ages of periods are as follows:
The historic site attracts about 500,000 visitors and tourists every year - about 1% are brave enough to make the climb
The Devils Tower Monument is a popular climbing destination. The first successful rock climb, using mountaineering techniques, was in 1937
The Devils Tower is now a famous site for crack climbing. There are over 200 named routes, the most famous being the Durrance Route.
The Durrance Route is named after Jack Durrance who led a group of climbers to the top in 1941 to rescue George Hopkins, who had parachuted onto the summit as a stunt
The National Park Service warns climbers that they might encounter hazards such as snakes, poison ivy, falcon attacks, spiny plants, wasps and falling rocks.
It is illegal to excavate, relocate, and/or remove fossils from the Devils Tower monument. Over 600 metal bolts had been embedded in the rock by climbers, some climbing ropes have been left hanging. In 1995 the fixture of new bolts was banned, although replacement of existing bolts and fixed pitons are still allowed
Due to its religious and cultural significance to Native American Indians a voluntary rock climbing closure is in effect every June.
The Movie: 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' was the movie that strongly featured the Devils Tower in its plot:
History: The first inhabitants of the area date back 3000 to 4000 years although Paleo-Indians were thought to have lived in the area as far back as 10,000 years
History: Native American Indian tribes have lived in the region for nearly 1000 years
History: The monument is sacred to many Native American Plains Indian tribes including the Assiniboine, Kiowa, Sioux, Blackfeet, Salish, Cheyenne, Crow, Shoshone, Arapaho and Chippewa.
The monument features strongly in the creation history of many Native American tribes
The monument is sacred to many Native American Plains Indian tribes including the Assiniboine, Kiowa, Sioux, Blackfeet, Salish, Cheyenne, Crow, Shoshone, Arapaho and Chippewa.
History: In 1875, Colonel Richard Dodge led a U.S. Geological Survey expedition to the area. His interpreter misunderstood the Native American’s description of the feature and translated it as “Bad God’s Tower.”
History: In 1890 the Conservation Movement advocated the establishment of state parks, wildlife refuges and national monuments during the Progressive Era.
History: In 1893, William Rogers and Willard Ripley climbed to the top of the tower using 30 inch wooden stakes that they had hammered into a ontinuous crack that led to the summit. Portions of the stake ladder made by William Rogers and Willard Ripley are still visible from the Tower Trail
History: In 1901 Theodore Roosevelt, who was an ardent conservationist, became President of the United States and was instrumental in protecting natural features of America
History: In 1905: Gifford Pinchot (1865–1946), was appointed the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, who believed that natural resources should be used to provide the "greatest good for the greatest number of people."
History: In 1906: President Roosevelt signed legislation for the National Monuments Act ( Antiquities Act) that authorized the President to establish national monuments for the preservation of historic, prehistoric, and scientific interest
History: On September 24, 1906 the Devils Tower was proclaimed as the nation's first National Monument.
History: When the presidential proclamation was made establishing Devils Tower and published, the apostrophe was unintentionally dropped from the word 'Devil’s' and this clerical error was never officially corrected.
History: In 1917 the first road was built to the monument
History: On August 19, 1994 six year old Eric Peterson became the youngest person to climb the Devils Tower
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