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

Former California State Route 198 at the bottom of Lake Kaweah

East of Lemon Cove of Tulare County one can find several old alignments of California State Route 198 at the bottom of the Lake Kaweah Reservoir.  In particularly dry years these early alignments of California State Route 198 can be accessed as hiking trails.   Part 1; a brief history of California State Route 198 in the Lake Kaweah Reservoir The current corridor of California State Route 198 ("CA 198") in Lake Kaweah has a lengthy history.  The present corridor around Lake Kaweah first became a popular route of travel for European settlers during the mining boom of Mineral King Valley.   Through the 1860s prospectors arrived in Mineral King Valley by way of the Kaweah River and East Fork Kaweah River.  In 1870 John Lovelace and his family built a stock trail up to what was known as Milk Ranch on the East Fork Kaweah River.  The Lovelace extended their trail all the way up to Mineral King Valley and the prospector camp sites.  In 1871 the stock trail was greatly improved

New River Gorge National River Area To Become A National Park

Great news for those that enjoy National Parks, West Virginia's New River Gorge Region, or West Virginia tourism.  Included within the Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed by President Trump last night (December 27th) is the New River Gorge Park and Preserve Designation Act.   The act will designate the existing New River National River and over 72,000 acres of land within it as a National Park and Preserve. The New River Gorge Bridge will continue to be the centerpiece of the new New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. (Adam Prince, 2007) The river and surrounding land, which was added to the National Park System in 1978, will be our 63rd National Park.   The designation preserves over 7,000 acres as a National Park.  This area will not allow any hunting.  The remaining 65,000 acres of the existing park will be designated as a preserve allowing hunting and fishing. The main attractions to the New River Gorge - whitewater rafting, camping, hiking, mountain bikin

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  The Ridge Route is a 44 mile section of highway which was completed in 1915.  The Ridge Route originally stretched from Castaic Junction north over Liebre Summit and Tejon Pass to the tiny community of Grapevine.  In spite of a roadway that once utilized nearly 700 curves the Ridge Route is generally considered far ahead of it's time and one of the first modern highways in California constructed for auto