There are several famous landmarks out west that simply have to be experienced to be believed and the Devils Tower is definitely one of them! No tour of the Black Hills would be complete without visiting this majestic rock formation, which towers over 800 feet above all else in this region. In fact, the Devils Tower landmark is so large that can be spotted from several miles away. This ancient volcanic plug has an unmistakable shape that is easy to recognize and the closer one gets, the more intense the imagery becomes.
Even from a great distance, the surface texture of Devils Tower can be noticed and that first glance of the thin vertical columns can leave an onlooker scratching their head in wonder. There is nothing else to compare it to in the surrounding landscape and this towering landmark certainly stands alone. It is as if the Devils Tower was created long before all else and it has always been there. Some say that ancient aliens had something to do with the creation of this landmark, but there is a factual explanation.
Way back in prehistoric times, the same forces that created the Rocky Mountain Range exerted tremendous pressure where tectonic plates collided and magma plumes forced their way through the earth surface. In this case, the Devils Tower was a solitary igneous plume that flowed through a weak spot in a very thick limestone crust, where it cooled and formed a plug. The igneous composite rock actually crystalized and formed vertical hexagonal columns, which have an unnatural look. After eons of erosive forces did their work, the limestone gave way and the extra hard igneous rock material was exposed.
Erosion still affects the Devils Tower and all it takes is a walk around the base to confirm this is true. Ice expansion causes chunks of the igneous columns to break off, which can be viewed at ground level. There is no need to worry about this landmark disappearing anytime soon, simply because it is so massive and only the surface has been touched.
The Devils Tower actually is the first designated National Monument in this nation and it has been a tourist attraction long before Teddy Roosevelt took notice. There is nothing else that compares to this massive towering landmark that stands alone in the Wyoming Black Hills, so it is easy to see why the historical descriptions are of mythical proportion. The Devils Tower certainly is a captivating sight to see, so be sure to add this legendary National Monument to the list when planning a Badlands and Black Hills tour!
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