Parque Natural Mexiquillo

6.10.2024

Devils Tower

Devils Tower rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River, standing 867 feet from summit to base. It formed when magma thrust up through layers of sedimentary rock 50,000,000 years ago. The softer sedimentary has been eroded away revealing the harder ingenious rock of the Tower. 


How the columns got their geometric shape.





Photo by Doris Reinert

As of 1994, climbing Devils Tower has increased in popularity. The first known ascent of Devils Tower by any method occurred on July 4, 1893, and is credited to William Rogers and Willard Ripley, local ranchers in the area. They completed this first ascent after constructing a ladder of wooden pegs driven into cracks in the rock face. 


According to the traditional beliefs of Native American peoples, the Kiowa and  Lakota, a group of girls went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. In an effort to escape the bears, the girls climbed atop a rock, fell to their knees, and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground towards the heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. The bears, in an effort to climb the rock, left deep claw marks in the sides, which had become too steep to climb. Those are the marks which appear today on the sides of Devils Tower. When the girls reached the sky, they were turned into the stars of the Pleiades. 

Other tribes have similar stories of the Tower's creation.


Native Americans place prayer bundles in the trees


How life may have looked back then

View from the campground which is first come first serve and 
there were plenty of camp sites available.

The Circle of Sacred Smoke was crated by Japanese artist Junky Muto in 2008. It is one of three sculptures Muto’s International Peace Project. Auto’s sculptures are at spiritually significant places around the world.  Over 20 tribes consider the Tower to be a sacred place. This was the location where White Buffalo Calf Woman delivered the first sacred pipe to the Lakota People. The Circle of Sacred Smoke represents a puff of smoke from a ceremonial pipe used by Native American people.


Just another wonderful day on the road

1 comment:

  1. Gotta agree with the Kiowa and Lakota, they were there! The geologists were not :)

    ReplyDelete