Things To Know Before You Come
Temporary Climbing Closure
There is a temporary closure of climbing routes on the west face and southwest shoulder of the Tower after monument staff observed prairie falcons with defensive nesting behavior near McCarthy West Face. Specific routes within the closure include Good Holds for Godzilla (# 135) through Blade City (#192) described in the Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Handbook. The edges of the Tower summit above these routes are also closed. Other popular routes temporarily closed include Mac West, El Matador, Mr. Clean, the Southwest Buttress,andRangers Are People Too. The routes are temporarily closed for the protection of prairie falcons and the protection of climbers against the defensive nesting birds.
Climbing routes on the Tower's north and northwest shoulder are re-opened. These routes include Mac North, One Way Sunset, and Carol's Crack. The annual closure for nesting prairie falcons was established under the monument's 1995 Climbing Management Plan with authority from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Temporary closures are necessary when prairie falcons are nesting. The presence of climbers on the Tower near or above falcon nests is distressing to the parent birds. The birds become extremely defensive by diving at climbers. Disturbance from climbing activities may force falcons to abandon eggs or chicks. The temporary closure is implemented not only for the protection of the birds, but also for the protection of climbers, as falcons are known to defensively dive at intruders as they attempt to guard their nests. Climbers are asked to report falcon behavior to a park ranger.
JUNE VOLUNTARY CLIMBING CLOSURE
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally takes place each August in Sturgis, South Dakota, about 80 miles from Devils Tower. Tens of thousands of motorcyclists come from all over. Many of them visit Devils Tower during the rally. The Wednesday of rally week is usually the busiest day at the park.
Some visitors like the rally, however others would rather avoid it. In order to help plan your visit, below are the dates for some upcoming rallies.
August 4-10, 2014
Did You Know?
It is believed that the Tower got its name when Colonel Dodge's translator misinterpreted the name to mean Bad God's Tower, later shortened to Devils Tower. Some Indians call it Mato Tipila, meaning Bear Lodge. Other American Indian names include Bear’s Tipi, Home of the Bear, and Tree Rock.