The first recorded ascent of Devils Tower — or Bear’s Lodge, as it’s known by people native to the area — was by two local ranchers in 1893, and it involved pounding large, wooden pegs into the cracks, some of which are still visible today. The history of the area is storied with impressive ascents (including a parachute landing on top, resulting in the individual being stranded in the cold, on the summit for six days).
Where to climb at Devils Tower
Devils Tower is a piece of climbing history that cannot be missed. Standing on the summit is a must — at least once. Climbing a crack in all sizes gives you a great flavor of the Tower.
These days, climbs like Durrance, Walt Bailey, Soler, and Hollywood And Vine are some of the more popular routes. Routes from 5.6-5.8 are generally wide or off-width in nature, while 5.9-5.10 are more hand sizes and 5.10 and harder start to thin to finger sizes.
Stay at the DT Lodge
Staying at the Devils Tower Lodge is the way to go! Frank Sanders, owner of the Lodge, holds the spirit and history of the Tower in his great storytelling. It should be noted, the month of June is a sacred month at the Tower for Native Americans. A voluntary climbing moratorium is in place, and while it is by choice, I highly encourage everyone to recognize this tradition as climbing is a privilege in this area.