News Release

Voluntary Climbing Closure in June

Bear Lodge or Devils tower rises out of the air on a partly cloudy day

NPS/Tyler Devine

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: May 31, 2023

The month of June holds spiritual and cultural significance for the tribes closely associated with Mato Tipila – Bear Lodge (Devils Tower).  The 1995 Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Management Plan established a voluntary closure for all climbing routes on the Tower out of respect for the cultural activities of Native Americans. The voluntary climbing closure has been implemented each June since 1996.  As a result, the average number of climbers that choose not to climb during June has seen an 85% reduction.


The National Park Service appreciates the efforts of those climbers who observe the closure. The Access Fund, a nonprofit organization that maintains access to climbing areas and protects the climbing environment, fully supports the June Voluntary Closure. Most climbing guides who operate in the park do not bring clients to the Tower during this time. In June, we ask climbers to consider tribal perspectives and ask them to climb at the many other climbing sites in the region, such as the Mt. Rushmore Needles, Custer State Park, Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota, Tensleep Canyon, and Tongue River Canyon in Wyoming. 

The Tower boasts a rich and colorful climbing history that dates back to the late 1800s when it was first scaled by two local ranchers using a wooden ladder. Climbers from all over the world consider Mato Tipila - Bear Lodge (Devils Tower) to be a unique and premier climbing area. Approximately 4,500 climbers come here each year. It is sometimes assumed that climbing damages the rock, but contemporary climbing methods have little impact on the Tower.The 1995 Climbing Management Plan provides direction for managing climbing activity in order to protect natural and cultural resources on and around the Tower.

Last updated: May 31, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 10
Devils Tower, WY 82714


307 467-5283 x635
Devils Tower National Monument Information Line

Contact Us