Devils Tower National Monument
Just Because It's Named After the Devil Doesn't Mean It's Bad!
The Lakota's Bear Lodge
Devils Tower National Monument is a sacred site to the Lakota people, who call it "Bear's Lodge" or "Mato Tipila." It is an essential ceremonial location for several Native American tribes since prehistoric times. The monument stands 867 feet above the Belle Fourche River and the surrounding forested valleys. The unique geological formation consists of large igneous rock columns forming a symmetrical protrusion from the surrounding landscape.
A Geological Mystery
The geological history of Devils Tower is not so clear. One theory dates back millions of years ago when molten lava erupted from deep within the Earth’s crust and cooled quickly, forming columns of hexagonal-shaped basalt rock which created this distinctive landmark. After thousands of years, erosion softened the top layer and gave the Tower its distinct shape.
The Seven Sisters in the Sky
The Native American tribes who lived in the area have a deep spiritual connection with Devils Tower, believing it to be a sacred site where their prayers and offerings were accepted. According to tradition, seven young girls were being chased by a giant bear long ago when they ran towards the rock formation and prayed for help. The Great Spirit answered their prayers by lifting them up into the sky and turning them into stars while transforming the rock into its current form as a reminder of their bravery.
A Sacred Place To Be Respected and Preserved
Today, Devils Tower continues to be an important spiritual location for many Native American tribes throughout Wyoming and surrounding states. It is also popular among climbers worldwide who come to scale its sheer cliffs. Whether you visit for spiritual or recreational purposes, Devils Tower is a sight that will not be forgotten.
Owner of My XO Adventures, Lover of Travel, Occasional Writer