Top three reasons to rock climb Devils Tower
A piece of climbing history that cannot be missed
A unique climbing destination and sacred to dozens of Indigenous tribes
Several iconic ways to get to the top and abundant bolted anchors for descents
Climbing Devils Tower is a unique experience that will take your breath away. Unparalleled cracks like you’ve never seen or climbed before, coupled with a majestic view from the top overlooking the surrounding green meadows and lakes, puts conquering this National Monument at the top of many climbers’ bucket lists. With over 200 routes to choose from, ranging from easy to some of the most challenging crack climbs in the entire world, a day of professionally guided climbing will help you advance your skills and reach new heights. Come and see what this historic climbing destination is all about. Find out more about one of the greatest places for rock climbing in the US from Cody Bradford, an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and 57hours Ambassador.
Spring to fall
Rapid City, SD is an hour and a half drive west
Intermediate to advanced
Book This Adventure
Two-Day Devils Tower Summit Blitz
This two-day course will give you a chance to stand atop Devils Tower and enjoy the power and beauty found there. Spend at least one day in Custer State Park prior to your summit and prepare for the physical and technical challenges that come with tackling Devils Tower. Be ready for a serious physical challenge, and learn a lot of new skills in a very short period of time. At the end of the first day, see whether or not you have the skill and endurance for such an undertaking. There’s more than one way to get to the top, and your guide will select the perfect route to ensure you have a successful summit. One of the options is the Durrance Route — listed as one of North America’s 50 classic climbs. Once you reach the top, add your name to the list of conquerors and sign the Summit Log. This is a legendary and spectacular adventure and the rappel down is just as fun!
It is highly recommended that you stay at or near Devils Tower the night before your summit attempt because the summit trip starts very early in the morning!
Meet your guide
Sylvan Rocks Climbing School
We booked the Devils Tower 2 day summit for July 18 and 19; three of us two teens and dad. Our guide was Taylor for both days. Taylor was safe, patient, encouraging and he explained everything and answered any questions we had. We did have some previous climbing experience and I think that made our trip better. The first day we were at Sylvan Lake in Custer State park and climbed a full day. The second day we met our guide at Devils Tower and were able to summit. It was a great experience for all us. Taylor did an awesome job keeping everything going smoothly during the climbs, with 4 people rope management can cause issues but we had no problems. It was a great trip and something we can always remember.
It was my first outdoor climbing and very challenging but Jeff is such a great guide, he kept motivating me to continue on. He is amazing! I really recommend him. He double check and triple checks everything that I felt very safe being on Devils tower. We practiced the day before in custer state park and it was a great experience.
Things to know
Covid measures in Devils Tower
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Devils Tower, WY, please refer to the Wyoming Department of Health.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
Registration and voluntary climbing closure
To climb Devils Tower, all climbers have to register before climbing. Registration is a legal requirement for anyone planning to climb or scramble above the boulder field and must be done before your climb. It can be completed at the climbing kiosk at the Visitor Center parking lot. Hang on to your return slip as you have to deposit it at the end of your climb. Failure to obtain a permit is subject to citation and fine.
This mandatory registration is free and in the best interests of climbers and the climbing community: it ensures safety, documents use of the Tower as a climbing resource, and becomes part of a historical database.
Another important thing every climber should be aware of is that June is a voluntary climbing closure. Devils Tower is regarded as a sacred site for Native Americans and every June, the park asks visitors to voluntarily refrain from climbing the Tower or scrambling inside of the Tower Trail loop.
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local rock-climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Two full days of rock climbing
- All technical climbing gear
What’s not included:
- Snacks and meals
- Entrance fee for Devils Tower Monument
How fit do I need to be?
This course is ideal for those who have experience with rock climbing in gyms, as well as those who have a little outdoor climbing experience. If your guide decides that a summit attempt is not possible due to your skill level, you will spend your second day climbing in Custer State Park or Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
For the more advanced climbs, you will need an excellent level of fitness as you will be moving for a minimum of three hours on the rocks plus some additional hiking. Climbs range from 5.7 to 5.13, although many climbers find some climbs more difficult than their original ratings.
Keep in mind that it can take up to six hours to summit Devils Tower and two hours to rappel. Even though rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength, Devils Tower will test you. Be prepared for a full day of strenuous climbing.
What if I’ve never climbed before?
Devils Tower and Custer State Park have plenty of options for beginner climbers. Whether you’ve never climbed before or are transitioning from the gym to outdoor climbing, your guide will customize the day to suit your skill level and objectives. With a guide by your side, you’ll learn something new, stay safe on the rocks, and most importantly, have fun! Even if it turns out that you didn’t reach the skill level required to summit the Devils Tower, you will spend your second day climbing in Custer State Park or Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
What about required equipment?
All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:
- Harness with a locking carabiner, belay device, and chalk bag
- Rock shoes (included in the price, but we recommend bringing your own if you have them)
- Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)
Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
- Water bottle
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Camera — optional
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 2:1 and cost is per person.
- Costs per person will decrease as the group grows for private tours, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
- Climbing days can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors as young as 5 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to the Custer State Park and Devils Tower, most people fly into Rapid City Regional Airport, SD. From there, you can rent a car. There is no public transportation available to Devils Tower National Monument. Enjoy a two-hour scenic drive through the Black Hills until you reach your destination.
Before your day of climbing, your guide will let you know the best place to meet. In most cases, you will meet your guide at the Visitors Center. The exact climbing spot will be discussed after the booking as guides make that decision after considering the skill level of the group and factors such as crag traffic and weather.
In case you need lodging, Devils Tower Lodge offers accommodation from $110/night.