2020 Montana Road Trip: Day 10 – Devil’s Tower

We headed out for Devil’s Tower yesterday. Before we made our long drive, we headed to Grand Teton National Park to stop by and check it out. Unfortunately the lightning-caused Lone Star Fire in addition to the West Coast wildfires blanketed the area with smoke, so the mountains and glaciers were almost indistinguishable in the haze. What we could see was very scenic though, we mostly stopped for lunch and a couple overlooks.

We made our 7 hour drive to Devil’s Tower with one stop on the way for dinner. We had been joking about rocky mountain oysters for the entire drive, and so Ben managed to find an establishment that served them. Apparently they are a Wyoming delicacy.

They were fried and tasted great. We could see why they were likened to oysters. I’m curious how they would taste if not prepared in a battered and fried format.

We continued our long drive to Devil’s Tower Tipi Camping. What a unique camping experience, and at an affordable price! It was comfortable and warm and amazing. We may be a little biased though from our backpacking fatigue. We were given a 16′ Tipi that was very comfortable and came with a lot of great amenities.

Potable water, a propane stove, a pour over thing, coffee, lights. Luxury! Especially after all the rustic camping we had to do. It was night when we arrived so of course I had to take some night shots.

The mountains definitely spoiled me, but it was still a beautiful place to spend the night. Especially since the morning came with some great views of Devil’s Tower. We met the owner Juliana who was lovely to talk to. She gave us some book recommendations and some places to check out on our way out after seeing the tower.

One of the things that was very interesting was showering. There was basically a showering area, that was 2 tipi walls and a pump shower. It was really refreshing and I really enjoyed it, but it was definitely a new experience. Since there was no third wall for the shower area, your back was just exposed to the empty field behind you. And in general it just felt very exposed. No one could see anything, but it definitely took some mental gymnastics to get over how bare you felt.

The shower tipi

After packing up we went and checked out Devil’s Tower. It’s a sacred site to a lot of the Native American tribes.

It is really a cool formation, and even though I paid a visit here in 2017 we didn’t really have time to explore. This time we took a walk around the 1.3 mile loop. We climbed up some of the boulders at the bottom, and read all the informative signs.

There were some groups of rock climbers scaling the tower. It was really amazing to see.

There are some well-known routes to go up. It did not seem to make it any easier. While I am always interested in learning new skills and hobbies, this is probably where I draw the line. How very cool to see though.

After we soaked up the ambience of the Devil’s Tower, we continued our way towards Badlands National Park. Luckily it was only a 2 hour drive. A nice break from the 7-8 hour drives we had to travel.

Here is a bonus picture of some fat prairie dogs. Someone had been feeding them, in this instance Doritos snack mix. #dontfeedthewildlife.


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