Itinerary for a Half Day at Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming

If you’re in the area of the Black Hills of South Dakota and have the time, Devil’s Tower is a must visit. This was one of the most surprising places on our 13 day road trip through Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Idaho that we visited. While we were only there for about 3 hours, we found the area to be enchanting, spiritual, and grounding. Below you’ll find some tips for visiting the area:

Location:

  • 2 hours 15 minutes from Rapid City, SD
  • 5 hours from Cody, Wyoming
  • 10 hours from Glacier National Park
  • 6 hours from Denver Colorado

Getting Here:

To get here you’ll want to have a rental car. Even if it’s just for a day trip from the Rapid City area, this will be the best way to get here.

Time:

You could spend a full day in the area, especially if you plan to camp at the Campground nearby, but you can really experience most of the monument in just a few hours.

Things to Do:

The most popular things to do in the area would be hiking the Red Beds Trail (2.8 miles) or the Tower Loop Trail (1.3 miles) around the monument. If you’d like to go on a hike that’s a bit further out from the monument, you can check out the Joyner Ridge Trail (1.5 miles). Other things to do in the area include stargazing or climbing the actual monument. We saw a few groups climbing and kudos to them because that looked like something I absolutely never want to do.

Suggested Itinerary:

  • Arrive around sunrise. This is when the colors on the monument and around it are so beautiful.
  • Walk the paved path on the Tower Trail or the Red Beds Trail (or both). View (but do not interact or take photos of) the prayer bundles on the trees left by visitors of various tribes
  • Grab lunch at the Devil’s Tower Gulch right by the entrance for burgers or chicken.
  • Head off to your next destination or if you’re staying overnight in the campground, check out the Joyner Ridge Trail and do some night sky viewing after sunset.

If you’re looking for other things to do within a few hours of the area, check out Custer State Park, Spearfish Canyon, Jewel Cave, Big Horn National Forest, Wind Cave National Park, or Badlands National Park.

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