ROUND TA­BLE

RED BEDS TRAIL DEVILS TOWER NA­TIONAL MON­U­MENT, WY

Backpacker - - The Mountain Issue -

DIS­TANCE 2.8 mi. DAYS 1 EL­E­VA­TION CHANGE 1,300 ft.

AN OLD KIOWA leg­end tells the story of a group of girls that was play­ing in the woods when bears be­gan chas­ing them. The girls ran to a small plate of rock and stopped to pray for safety. Heed­ing their prayer, the Great Spirit lifted the rock into the air like a pedestal above a car­pet of pon­derosas, form­ing 867-foot­tall Devils Tower. The leg­end main­tains that the hexag­o­nal col­umns of ig­neous rock on the sides of the tower are grooves scraped by the bears un­able to climb it. In­stead, they cir­cled the tower, which you can, too, on the easy, 2.8-mile Red Beds Trail. The best views start right away with the straight shot to the stone gum­drop’s west face; scan for the rem­nants of gi­ant, pen­cil-like col­umns that tum­bled off the tower.

Trail­head Vis­i­tor Cen­ter Sea­son April to Oc­to­ber Per­mit None Climb Devils Tower Dur­rance (class 5.7) Con­tact nps.gov/deto

Get the best views of Devils Tower on the Red Beds Trail.

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