We left Rapid City pretty early on Monday even though it was a pretty short drive to Devils Tower Wyoming. For the history of Devil’s tower click here: http://www.sylvanrocks.com/devils_tower_climbing/legends_history. We were planning on staying at the Devils Tower campground right at the base of the monument and it was on a first come basis, so we thought we better get there early to get a spot. One of the loops was already closed, so we wanted to make sure we had a chance. As a backup there was also a KOA right before the entrance to the park, so there weren’t any real concerns about where we would stay. Another reason we wanted to get there early was so we could do some hiking. The drive was really pretty as Wyoming is in its own sometimes desolate way.
It is definitely fall in this area. The trees are turning and the sky is that September blue. Barely a cloud in the sky, so it was picture perfect. We passed thru Sundance on the way, but had to skip the Sundance Kid museum. Apparently it is where the Sundance kid grew up and spent 18 months in jail for stealing a horse.
As we were driving we could see Devils Tower from quite a distance, it is a huge formation in the middle of nothing. Quite impressive and it just gets better the closer you get. As we drove into the park there were red bluffs that stood out behind the yellow trees and the river. The campground had no services, but was great! Big trees, all pull through spots and a great view of the Tower. We got set up quickly since there was nothing to do really but put the slides out. After a nice lunch off we went on a 5 mile hike. The hike was up to the Tower and then a 1 mile hike around the base. Right outside the camp was a huge prairie dog town. This whole part of the country has tons of them! They “meeped” at us as we hiked along the edge of their town to warn the others to get in their holes. Watching the little fat ones run and hide is so funny. Later while hanging outside at the camper we could still hear them.
We were happy we took some water with us because it was pretty warm out and it was more of a climb than we expected. It was a nice hike up and the views were great. I took a lot of pictures and it was easy to get good ones because of how beautiful it was. The trail around the base was an easy paved walk if you kept your eye on the path rather than looking up at the climbers. There were a lot of them on all sides.
When we got back to camp I took a walk to the store at the entrance of the park to get some postcards and got yelled at by the prairie dogs some more. There were also a lot of deer all around and some long horned cattle.
We cooked out on the grill and had a really nice fire. The stars were impressive since it was so dark out. We could also hear some sort of dogs or hyenas or something. Probably not coyotes because we couldn’t hear them howl. I was a bit surprised not to have a visit by them at night. It was super chilly in the morning and we actually had to use the heat. We had a long drive to get to Billings, Montana, so we tried to get going early. We loved that stop and would have stayed longer if we could have.
It was just great and we are so happy we took the time to go there!