Celebrating 125 Years of the First Recorded Ascent to the Summit of Devils Tower!

Devils Tower with US Flag
Devils Tower and the US Flag

Douglas Culp

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: June 21, 2018

Contact: Nancy Stimson, 307 467 5283

Devils Tower, WY

July 4 marks 125 years since the first ascent to the summit of Devils Tower. Join us to commemorate this milestone in Devils Tower’s history.

The first recorded ascent of Devils Tower was July 4th, 1893 when two local ranchers planned a climb to the summit. For months, William Rogers and Willard Ripley pounded large pegs into one of the cracks in the Tower. Rung by rung they built a ladder to the area now known as the Meadows. From the Meadows they could climb the rock the last 50 feet to the top. To promote their enterprise the pair handed out flyers claiming it would be the “rarest sight of a lifetime.” Approximately 1,000 people gathered near the base of Devils Tower with some coming from over one hundred miles to see the pair make the ascent. One of the climbers wore a red, white and blue “Uncle Sam” suite for the ascent. The pair climbed up the 350 foot ladder and reached the top a few hours later. An American flag was carried to the summit and unfurled.  The day was a great success.
Schedule of Events July 4, 2018

Park Rangers will reenact the climb of July 4, 1893 (without the assistance of the wooden ladder). Festivities will include unfurling a US flag previously flown over the White House in Washington, DC.

  8:00 am           Ascent to the summit                                Phil Knecht and Andrew Lyons-Gould             
10:30 am           US flag unfurled on the summit          
11:30 am           Begin the descent down                         
 1:00 pm            Presentation of US flag                            Wyoming State Senator Ogden Driskill
 1:15 pm            Speaker                                                       Mitch Mahoney, Director Hulett Museum

To learn more about Devils Tower National Monument visit www.nps.gov/deto or www.facebook.com/Devils-Tower-National-Monument-Official-NPS-Site or twitter.com@DevilsTowerNM or Instagram at #devilstowernps
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks system and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/nationalparkservice, and You Tube  www.youtube.com/nationalparkservce.

Last updated: June 22, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 10
Devils Tower, WY 82714


(307) 467-5283 x635
Devils Tower National Monument Visitor Center Phone Number

Contact Us