Devils Tower National Monument has been on my must-do list since I saw Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a kid.

The hexagonal basalt columns that make up the tower are amazing, we’ve seen the same at Devils Postpile National Monument in California and at several places in Iceland. Created by cooling lava, the hexagon is the strongest shape and has become exposed over millenia due to erosion.
Currently 867 feet high, scientists estimate that the tower was much higher before erosion started.
Sacred to several bands of Plains Indians, you see their prayer scarves tied to trees throughout the property. There are also specified days of the year that they congregate for ceremonies here.
As I was sitting at the boulder field about 11pm shooting star trails, I heard voices coming down the trail. A pair of climbers had their rope get stuck and it took them many hours to descend the tower. I was lucky enough to catch them on their descent, visible in the star trail photos. Good thing they were prepared and had headlamps!

Campground View

Campground View
Amazing views from the Belle Fourche River Campground inside Devils Tower National Monument!


Curve Up

Curve Up Devils Tower
The boulder fields curves its way up the tower.


Column After Column

Column After Column
The hexagonal columns are the same as at Devils Postpile and at Svartifoss in Iceland.


Profile

Profile
Another side profile of the tower


Climbing Up

Climbing Up Devils Tower
Two climbers as they ascend the south face of Devils Tower


Looking Up

Looking Up at Devils Tower
Colette looks up across the boulder field at Devils Tower


Red Stripe

Red Stripe
Not the Jamaican lager, the red standstone at the base…


Wind Circle

Wind Circle
The Wind Circle sculpture.


Zoom Zoom Zoom

Zoom Zoom Zoom
Star trails high above Devils Tower


Sculpture Trails

Sculpture Trails at Devils Tower
Star trails over the Wind Circle sculpture. The lights on the face of the tower are some late climbers who had their climbing rope get hung up.