The Devils Tower National Monument Visitor Center was completed in 1935 with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps. It was constructed from ponderosa pine logs and other local materials, and was orginially designed as an administration building for the park.
Today, this quaint structure serves as the primary contact station for visitors. Inside you can find park staff, the Devils Tower Natural History Association Bookstore, and exhibits which teach the natural and cultural history of the park. Visitor center hours vary throughout the year. Typically the building is open longer starting in late May through early September, with limited hours during the winter months. See below for current hours.
Visitor Center HistoryWhen Newell Joyner became custodian—the 1930s equivalent of superintendent—of Devils Tower National Monument in 1932, the young park had a residence building and two shed-like structures. The work programs of the New Deal era would soon be created, and Joyner immediately lobbied for the Tower to be host to a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp.
Joyner was a naturalist by passion and education. He also had experience as a museum curator. He longed for a building that could both house the growing museum collection of Devils Tower National Monument, as well as feature items of that collection to park visitors. By March of 1933 plans were underway for an administration building. With the help of the new CCC workers, construction on the building was soon started. The basement would serve as a store house and cataloguing area, while the upper floor would feature exhibits and maps to teach people about their park. The new structure also included public restrooms.
Making HistoryAlthough the visitor center has been updated during its 80-plus year history, in many ways it still resembles the same structure the CCC helped complete in 1935. Today, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is maintained as a historic structure. In 1936, a painting by Herbert Collins was completed and placed above the fireplace inside the building. This painting, which depicts an oral history of the Cheyenne Indians, stayed in the building until 2017 when it was moved to the park's present-day museum storehouse at Mount Rushmore. A replica now hangs in its place.
Newell Joyner envisioned much for Devils Tower National Monument, and this visitor center is one part of his legacy to improve the park experience.
Visitor Center Hours
Last updated: January 6, 2020