Skip to main content

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 10; Devil's Tower National Monument

After joining I-90/US 14  westbound in Spearfish I headed into Wyoming.  My next destination was Devil's Tower National Monument in Crook County.


Part 9 of this blog series can be found here:

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 10; Devil's Tower National Monument

My route to Devil's Tower was via US 14 after the split from I-90 in Sun Dance, WY 24, and WY 110.  From a distance on WY 24 Devil's Tower first comes into view from the highway.


WY 24 is a mostly east/west highway but has a minor northward jog towards the Belle Fourche River and WY 110.  Devil's Tower is accessed from WY 24 by taking WY 110 into the National Monument Boundary about 3 miles in a loop to the Visitor Center.







Devil's Tower National Monument is a 867 foot butte made of laccolith that for a lack of a better word "towers" over the surrounding the terrain.  Devil's Tower is thought to have been formed by volcanic intrusion forcing igneous rock through sedimentary rock.  The Devils' Tower is part of the Bear Lodge Mountains which is a sub-range of the much larger Black Hills region.  Devil's Tower was set aside as a National Monument in 1906 but became something a popular culture icon thanks to being featured in the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Devil's Tower is a surprisingly small National Monument.  The Tower Trail completely circles Devil's Tower but the best views are near the visitor center on the western flank. 





After leaving Devil's Tower National Monument I continued east on WY 24 towards South Dakota.  WY 24 largely follows the course of the Belle Fourche River to Hulett where the junction with WY 112 is located.  WY 24 picks up a junction with WY 111 in the village of Aladdin. 




Aladdin was a coal mining town that was founded in the 1890s.  During it's peak Aladdin had a population of about 200 residents which had declined to an advertised 15 back in 2016.  There was only one open business in Aladdin which seems to have multiple duty as a Post Office, gas station, general store, and mineral shop.





I continued on WY 24 to the South Dakota State Line where the roadway becomes SD 34 in Butte County.  My stay for the night was on Belle Fourche on US 85 near the junction with US 212.  My next stop the following morning was Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota on the back end of a long haul on US 85.

Part 11 of this series can be found here:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Old Stage Road; the "real" El Camino Real and predecessor route to US Route 101 on the San Juan Grade

This past month I stopped in San Juan Bautista to hike the Juan Bautista De Anza Trail on the closed Old Stage Road.  Old Stage Road as part of the Spanish El Camino Real to cross the Gabilan Range between San Juan Bautista and Salinas Valley.



Part 1; the history of El Camino Real and Old Stage Road

The Gabilan Range between what is now San Juan Bautista and Salinas Valley was first explored during the second Juan Bautista De Anza Expedition of Las Californias.  While the De Anza expedition likely crossed very close to the present alignment of Old Stage Route their exact path isn't clear.  Juan Bautista De Anza noted the following in his journal while passing near present day San Juan Bautista on March 24, 1776:

"In the valley we saw many antelopes and white grey geese.  In the same valley we found an arroyo...and then came to a village in which I counted about twenty tule huts.  But the only two people we saw were two Indians who came out to the road and presented us with thr…

Railroad Square Historic District, US Route 101, California State Route 12; Santa Rosa, California

This past November I visited the Railroad Square Historic District in Santa Rosa of Sonoma County, California.  Railroad Square is a historic corridor in downtown Santa Rosa which was created due to it being isolated due to the realignment of US Route 101.



Part 1; the history of Railroad Square and the highways of Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa is the County Seat and largest City in Sonoma County.  Santa Rosa was settled in 1833 in Alta California and was named after Saint Rose of Lima.  When California became an American State, Sonoma County was one of the original counties.  The original County Seat of Sonoma County was in Sonoma but it was soon moved to Santa Rosa by 1854.  In 1867 Santa Rosa became an incorporated City as it was one of the few major communities north of San Francisco Bay.

Railroad service arrived to Santa Rosa in 1870 by way of the San Francisco & Northern Pacific Railroad ("SF&NP").  The SF&NP began construction from Petaluma northward in 1869.  By 1…

Caledonia Bridge - Caledonia, Ontario

The Caledonia Bridge, also known as the Argyle Street Bridge, is the longest rainbow arch bridge in the Province of Ontario. Spanning 700 feet across, the Caledonia Bridge includes an impressive nine arches. Opened to traffic on November 19, 1927, the bridge crosses the scenic Grand River in the Haldimand County town of Caledonia.  Caledonia Bridge was the first, and is now the only nine span bridge in Canada. The arches along the bridge tower over most passing vehicles. King's Highway 6 also once crossed this bridge, before the Caledonia Bypass was opened in 1982.

The site where the current Caledonia Bridge is located has a long history of being the location of a noteworthy bridge. In fact, the existing bridge replaced a large, six arch Whipple Arch truss bridge that was built in 1875 along the old Plank Road between Port Dover and Hamilton. Each of those spans were 105 feet (32 meters) in length. A large brick toll keepers residence was also built near the north end of this bri…