Devils Tower is best characterized by its numerous, long crack systems. Free climbing routes, that lead to the Summit, range from 5.6 to 5.12 in difficulty. There are numerous aid lines, currently ranging in difficulty from A1 to A4 and C1 to C3. Routes that Summit, provide 500 to 600 feet of climbing, on very solid rock. Climbing is popular , with more than 1,100 climbers each season. About 85% of all climbers are on the Durrance Route, the easiest route to the summit. That leaves the other 150+ routes with significantly less traffic and a very much more private atmosphere.Fritz Weissner, Jack Durrance, John McCarthy, Royal Robbins, Bob Kamps, Chuck Pratt, Harvey T. Carter, Layton Kor, Fred Becky, Henry Barber, Steve Hong, Todd Skinner, Steve Petro, Steve Gardiner, Frank Sanders, and Dennis Horning (to name a few)have all pioneered routes here. There are Truly Classic routes of every grade and cracks of every size.Devils Tower climbing needs to be on your Lifelist!!! Come !! Climb!!! Live Out Your Dreams !!!!
Located in Northeast Wyoming, turn off of Interstate 90 at either Sundance or Moorcroft exits and simply follow the signs for 30 miles , to the National Monument Entrance. Entrance fees are $10, a Golden Age Pass, or a Golden Eagle Park Pass gets You in for free. If you get lost, call The Park Circus at 307-467-5283
The Park Service only asks that you sign-in each day, before Climbing and sign-out when you finish Climbing. A portion of the Tower on the west side is closed to Climbing from late March, to the end of June, with respect towards the Falcons that nest there. Contact Jim Cheatham with the Park Service for details (307-467-5283 ex.12). The Park provides an exact list of closed routes for that period. Otherwise, Devils Tower is a very "climber friendly" place, and open for Climbing every day of every month of the year.
When To Climb
Although the Tower is climbed in every month of the year, the best weather is in the May through September time frame. The best months are May and June, when the days are the longest and the temperatures still moderate. July and August can be quite hot, especially for those aspiring to do the Durrance Route, as it is located on the South Face. Excellent times to avoid would be Memorial Day & Labor Day weekends and the first two weeks of August (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally).
No overnight camping is allowed ON the Tower. There are campgrounds both inside the Park (NPS) (307-467-5267)and outside the Park (KOA)(307-467-5395). There are also 3 Motels, 12 miles away in Hulett, WY. Yet, all of these options fall far short of one facility that is nestled at the base of the Tower. There is a Lovely Bed & Breakfast and Lodge, that you must drive through the Park to access. Located on 21 acres of private land, it is the closest residence to the Tower and features stunning views and the finest accommodations, as well as a hot tub, and a fitness room with an indoor climbing wall. The folks there guide and instruct climbing and are knowledgeable, friendly and eager to help in anyway, whether you stay there or not!! Needless to say, they can be contacted at www.devilstowerlodge.com or www.devilstowerclimbing.com or phone toll free 1-307-467-5267.
Simply the finest web sites for weather are www.weather.com , www.crh.noaa.gov and www.weather.unisys.com . Enter the 82714 zip code. You will get a "stereo" vision of the weather, if You take a composite view of these three sites !!!!! Beta and any other information can be obtained by phoning 307-467-5267.
href=http://www.devilstowerclimbing.com/climbing/index.html>Devils Tower Fly-Over; A Short Video
There needs to be added on a disclaimer or qualifier. In adding route descriptions to this Devils Tower Page, I have not tried to replace a guidebook. I have only tried to supplement one. There are two excellent books available. Please get one!! My efforts here have been only to point out a few of the Classic Routes, encourage you to climb them, supplement specific equipment lists, note the locations and natures of the cruxs, add a few hints, lend a small sense of History and generally attempt to increase any climbers enjoyment and Safety on these routes. If you take difference to anything that I've written or would like more Beta and information, please don't hesitate to contact me at www.devilstowerlodge.com .BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO LIVE OUT THEIR DREAMS. .......... bigwally
The 1995 Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Management Plan established a voluntary closure for all climbing routes on the Tower out of respect for the traditional cultural activities of American Indians.
Devil's Tower is awesome! It has a distintive profile that can be seen from many miles away. It was used for the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
It is also sacred to the Native Americans in the area [not sure the tribe(s)]. You will notice many offerings, ribbons and such in the trees and rocks around the base. You may also see Native Americans there. In any case, please be as respectful as you would be in any house of worship. They were there first. Think of it as a cathedral on which climbing the outside of it is permitted.
Also, there is a paved trail around the base. A lot of tourists walk around the base. Be especially careful with rock or gear fall.
And this is in the far northwest corner of the Blackhill mountains. Don't forget that the rest of the Blackhills has some real high quality rock climbing.
He was a father, a husband and known as "Coach" to most. On July 11th 1992 Layne Kopischka passed away and his friends along with his daughter the former youngest girl to climb the tower, took his ashes to the summit. May he not be resting but climbing forever.
Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Route Closure to Protect Prairie Falcons
To protect Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) nesting sites, the National Park Service (NPS) will temporarily close climbing routes along the west and northeast face of Devils Tower beginning March 15th. This closure is an annual event established under the monument's 1995 Climbing Management Plan. The areas to be closed include all pitches of climbing routes between and including “No Holds for Bonzo” and “Accident Victim” on the west face. On the northeast face, routes between and including “Belle Fourche Buttress” and “Maid in the Shaid” will be closed. All pitches terminating at the “Teacher’s Lounge” will remain open. In addition, the entire west and northeast edges of the Tower summit will be off limits to climbers. Climbers may ask at the visitor center or administration building to see a list of all closed routes.
NPS professionals will survey the Tower to determine the presence or absence of nesting prairie falcons. Areas without nesting falcons will be reopened by May 15th. Areas with falcon nests will remain closed until young falcons fledge, generally between July 15 and August 1. The closure areas may change based on the location of nesting pairs.
Prairie falcons are extremely defensive of their nests and are easily driven from the area. The presence of climbers near or above falcon nests is distressing to parent birds. Too much disturbance from climbing activities may force falcons to abandon eggs or chicks. The closure is implemented not only for the protection of the birds, but also for the protection of climbers, as prairie falcons are known to defensively dive in order to protect their nests.
Prior observations suggest prairie falcons are using the Tower with an affinity for the west or northeast faces. Two young falcons fledged from nests on the Tower in 1996, 1998 and 1999. An adult northern goshawk ( Accipiter gentiles) has been observed hunting on the Tower. Interactions between falcons and goshawks are poorly understood. Both bird species are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
For further information on the climbing closure please contact the monument’s chief of resource management, Jim Cheatham, at (307) 467-5283 ext 12.
Though this is still a controversial subject, the Park Service encourages all climbers to avoid climbing the Tower in June, out of respect for Native American ceremonies happening there. Although some climbers and at least one guide service choose to ignore this voluntary ban, many other climbers and the Access Fund support it.
It's certainly a matter of individual choice and conscience. June is a great month to climb the Tower, however.
There is a reason that it is a "voluntary ban. Myself, I've had a very deep spiritual connection to the tower. Though, I am not of native ancestory, it means no less to me than it would them. Had I not discovered this place, I simply would not be in this world. That is the depth of the connection I have to Devil's Tower.
Having that sort of spiritual connection to a place, I wouldn't want to "prevent" anyone else from forming their own connection, regardless of what that connection may be [read: climbing or other].
Do you think anyone's interested in the fact that Devil's Tower is a prime character in Steven Spielberg's 1977 blockbuster movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"? This film probably brought the greatest worldwide fame to this outstanding natural edifice more than anything else to date (including rock climbing). My humble opinion.
you forgot to mention another man in you list of people pioneering routes up on the hill. you forgot yourself Mr. Frank Sanders, how do you leave out such a trouble maker like yourself. You're the man Frank.