Devils Tower (Bear’s Lodge)
Devils Tower — or Bear’s Lodge, as it’s known by Indigenous people native to the area — is a piece of climbing history that cannot be missed. The climbing 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). The first recorded ascent of Devils Tower was by two local ranchers in 1893, and it involved pounding large, wooden pegs into the cracks, some of which are still visible today, and standing on the summit is a must, at least once. It’s the pinnacle of rock climbing in Wyoming.
Where to climb at Devils Tower
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.
When not to climb at Devils Tower
The site is sacred to dozens of Indigenous tribes throughout the region, including Arapaho, Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, Lakota, and Shoshone. June is a culturally significant month, and out of respect for local Indigenous communities, the park asks visitors to refrain from climbing Devil’s Tower. The Access Fund, a national climbing organization, and the National Park Service, fully supports the voluntary closure.
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.