Devils Tower NHA sells quilt block kits and books to Old Settlers' Picnic attendees - NPS Photo.
Events & Activities
Old Settlers’ Picnic – The Old Settlers’ Picnic at Devils Tower was an important annual event in early park history. Started in 1932 and continuing into the 1960’s, the picnic brought multitudes of local people to the Tower. The tradition was revived by the 2006 Devils Tower National Monument Centennial celebration, and continues to be held each June. A non-denominational Christian church service starts the day, followed by a picnic lunch. Cowboy poetry, live music and youth activities round out the day’s events.
Additional Picnic Photos
|2008 Old Settlers' Picnic - NPS Photo.
||Picnic honorees share history and stories at the 2009 Old Settlers' Picnic at Devils Tower.
||Annual picnic attendees enjoy visiting with neighbors, friends and family in a beautiful setting at the monument.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally – The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally takes place every August in Sturgis, South Dakota, which is about 80 miles from Devils Tower. Tens of thousands of motorcylists tour the region, many of them stopping by to visit the monument. The Wednesday of rally week is usually the busiest day at the park. For more information, please go to www.nps.gov/deto/planyourvisit/things2know.htm.
Things to Do
Junior Ranger Program – Children of all ages can partake in the informative and fun Junior Ranger program at Devils Tower. Badges and certificates are awarded to participants, and Devils Tower Natural History Association, which sponsors the program, offers for sale a special Junior Ranger patch. Children will need at least one hour to complete the program.
Cultural Program Series – Sponsored by Devils Tower Natural History Association (DTNHA), presentations by special guest speakers throughout the summer season provide visitors with unique cultural experiences. Past presentations have included Native American storytellers, cowboy poets and a presidential re-enactor.
Educational Tours & Presentations – Educational opportunities abound at Devils Tower! Teachers can arrange a ranger-led program at the monument or set up a classroom visit from a park ranger by contacting the Chief of Interpretation at 307-467-5283 Ext. 224. Educational information packets are also available upon request. Groups coming to the Tower for educational purposes can request a fee waiver. For more information, please go to www.nps.gov/deto/forteachers/index.htm.
Interpretive Talks – From May to September, enjoy a ranger talk under the shade structure in front of the visitor center. Subjects and times vary throughout the season, and are announced prior to each program. Everything from prairie dogs to prairie falcons and climbing to geology are covered in these informative talks prepared and presented by individual rangers.
Tower Walks – Visitors to Devils Tower National Monument from Memorial Day until Labor Day have the chance to explore Devils Tower on a morning ranger-guided walk around the Tower. The walk takes approximately 1 ½ hours, beginning in front of the visitor center and proceeding to the 1.3 mile Tower Trail. Good walking shoes and water are recommended.
Evening Programs – On a nightly basis at the monument’s amphitheater, located near the picnic and campground areas, rangers present informative programs relating to the Tower. Scheduled for the summer months, the programs usually begin at dusk, depending on weather conditions.
Full Moon Walks – Explore the nightlife and night sky at Devils Tower National Monument. The group meets at the Joyner Ridge Trail parking lot, and the walk lasts about 1 ½ hours. A flashlight, a jacket and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Climbing – Devils Tower is one of the finest traditional crack climbing areas in North America. All persons planning to climb or scramble above the boulder field must register before and immediately after climbing each day. During the month of June, there is a voluntary climbing closure in place to promote respect for American Indian beliefs. For more information, please go to www.nps.gov/deto/planyourvisit/climbing.htm.
Hiking Trails – There are 3 designated trails at Devils Tower National Monument. Pets are not allowed on the trails.
- Tower Trail: The Tower Trail is a 1.3-mile paved loop that begins at the visitor center parking lot and circles the base of the Tower. This trail is the easiest and most popular trail among visitors. There are interpretive signs and benches along the way. The average time to complete the Tower Trail is 45 minutes.
- Red Beds Trail: The Red Beds Trail is a 2.8-mile loop that begins at the visitor center parking lot. This trail is unpaved and moderate with significant elevation changes. The trail gets its name from the red sandstone formation (Spearfish Formation) that it meanders through. The average time to complete the Red Beds Trail is 2 hours.
- Joyner Ridge Trail: The Joyner Ridge Trail is a 1.5-mile trail that begins ½ mile west of the visitor center parking lot. Turn on the gravel road to reach the Joyner Ridge Trailhead. This trail is unpaved and moderate. The trail follows the ridge top and offers great views of the Tower before dropping into the valley, where wildlife is often seen. Average time to complete the Joyner Ridge Trail is 1 hour.
Camping – Open seasonally, the park campground has RV- and tent sites and three group sites. There are no hookups, showers, or laundry facilities. Each campsite has a grill, picnic table, and nearby potable water, and restrooms are accessible for persons with disabilities. For more information, please go to www.nps.gov/deto/planyourvisit/hours.htm.
Picnicking – Visitors are welcome to make use of the picnic shelter and picnic tables across the road from the park’s amphitheater. Restrooms, grills, garbage receptacles and potable water are available in the picnic area.
Circle of Sacred Smoke Sculpture – This special interpretive site at Devils Tower was dedicated in September 2008. The sculpture, by Japanese sculptor Junkyu Muto, is the third of seven works planned by Muto for around the world, and is accessible by road or by trail from the prairie dog town. For more information, please go to www.nps.gov/deto/planyourvisit/things2do.htm.
Writer-In-Residence Program – Two one-week residencies are available at the monument each fall. The goal of this residency is to provide an inspiring, secluded working environment for writers.
For more information, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/deto/planyourvisit.