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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:

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