Devil's Tower National Monument, WY
Devil's Tower National Monument (Adobe stock image)
By Nushin Huq
Between 2 Pines Magazine
First glimpse of Devils Tower looks like it's a site of an alien landing (it's played one in movies). This magnificent geological feature is considered sacred by Northern Plains Indians. Learn all about the geology and cultural significance of Devils Tower during your visit.
WHAT TO SEE
The main attraction is Devils Tower itself, but the views of the surrounding area are breathtaking. A couple of trails also take hikers past prairie dog towns, which kids (and kids at heart) always enjoy. There's also a visitor center that has a lot of great information from the structure's connection to the Northern Plains indigenous people to the monument in American pop culture.
WHERE TO STAY
The Belle Fourche River campground is located in the park. The 46-site (4 accessible) is available on a first come- first serve basis.
WHERE TO EAT
There are picnic areas and grills in the park, but no place to buy food. Make sure you bring your own food and water into the park.
BEST HIKES FOR KIDS
The Tower Trail is a paved 1.3 miles trails that goes around the base of Devil's Tower. It's a relatively easy walk, though there are elevation changes. Two easy and not-so-crowded trails are South Side Trail and the Valley View Trail. Both are under a mile, with almost no elevation change and will take walkers past a prairie dog town!
BEST TIPS FOR KIDS
Like most national parks, Devils Tower has a junior ranger program. If you get an opportunity, attend a ranger talk. Many of them are about stories of people connected to the tower, whether they are stories passed down from Native Americans or stories of the first people to climb the tower.