Devil's Tower National Monument

Arriving at Devil's Tower somewhere around 7:00 PM after a long day of driving, we were excited to see this famous monolith of stone up close.


And close we were -- it's really surprising how close the campground was to this.


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This is the view from our campsite -- no telephoto lens used:


Bad lighting provided by the setting sun, but the tower is really quite near -- just look to the west and there it is!

Actually, let me back up a little bit. Those buildings are the entrance to the campground as we drove in:


The tower is just to the left out of frame in this image. More of that red Wyoming rock!

We were eager to get a closer look at our country's first National Monument, so decided to hop on the bikes and ride into the park before dinner. It was a 1-minute ride to the entrance:


There were very few cars on the road, and I have to admit that we were the only ones on bikes -- that's my wife up ahead in the pink at the side of the road. She's way ahead because she didn't realize I had stopped to take a shot of this off the right side of the road:


Those red rocks are the oldest exposed layers in the area. Please don't ask me to tell you how many hundreds of million years old they are, because I don't remember. I took the photo because I loved the mix of colors.

The road winds up and around the tower, so we had an ever-changing view of the rock as we rode. It was nice to get around to the south side and see the rock lit by the sunset:


Of course, we didn't have much time to sightsee as this was quite a climb and we were running out of daylight. Still a long way to go to reach the base of the tower:


This is the view from the west:


Yes, running out of daylight, but mostly we were running out of breath. After several stops and a few sessions of walking the bikes, we eventually made it to the top.


Just to be clear, "the top" is where the road ends at the parking lot and information station -- which is at the base of the tower. It's not the top of the tower -- there's no easy way up there, as you'll see tomorrow.

The best thing about a long, tiring uphill bike trek? The ride back down.

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Maywyn Studio  – (September 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM)  

Stunning photos, just stunning. The rock looks so close. I've never seen a laccolith in person that I know of.

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