Current Climbing Closures
May 7 Update: Annual falcon nesting closure is in effect. Routes on the northeast face of the Tower are closed to climbing. This includes all routes between and including Belle Fourche Butress (#68) and Psychic Turbulence (#113). View the closure notice. If you have any questions about closures, read the information below or contact the climbing office: (307) 467-5283 x632.
Nesting FalconsSome routes are annually closed in order to protect nesting prairie or peregrine falcons. Routes are frequently closed between March and July. During this time nesting activity is monitored by park staff. Routes will be reopened when no nesting activity is observed. Climbing near raptor nests stresses the birds and often leads to chick death. Defensive raptor behavior is also potentially dangerous for climbers. Please check for route closures when you register to climb. Rangers will strictly enforce these closures.
June Voluntary Climbing Closure
Each year a voluntary climbing closure is in effect June 1-30 to respect American Indian ceremonies. Park staff works to educate the climbing community and the general public about the reasons for this closure.
American Indians have regarded the Tower as a sacred site long before climbers found their way to the area. Tribes have expressed concerns about recreational climbing at Devils Tower. Some perceive climbing on the Tower as a desecration to their sacred site. It appears to many American Indians that climbers and hikers do not respect their culture by the very act of climbing on or near the Tower.
A key element of the Climbing Management Plan is the June Voluntary Climbing Closure. The National Park Service has decided to advocate this closure in order to promote understanding and encourage respect for the culture of American Indian tribes who are closely affiliated with the Tower as a sacred site. June is a culturally significant time when many (not all) ceremonies traditionally occur. Although voluntary, this closure has been very successful - resulting in an 80% reduction in the number of climbers during June.
During the month of June, climbers are asked to voluntarily refrain from climbing on the Tower and hikers to voluntarily refrain from scrambling within the inside of the Tower Trail Loop. Please strongly consider the closure when planning a climbing trip to Devils Tower. Alternative climbing areas are located within 100 miles of Devils Tower National Monument. The Access Fund fully supports the voluntary closure and the Climbing Management Plan at Devils Tower.
Last updated: July 5, 2018