11 Mar
2016
Posted in: travel
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Take a Trip: Devils Tower National Monument

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016.

Devils Tower National Monument at sunset

Devils Tower National Monument, the first designated national monument in the United States, is located in northeast Wyoming. It’s a geological beacon sprouting from the prairie of the Cowboy state. There are nothing but rolling hills on all sides of the 867-foot tower which overlooks the Bell Fourche River.

Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming

I’m amazed each time the tower finally appears in the distance as we drive U.S. Highway 14. It’s strange to see the massive igneous intrusion standing alone. I’m a lifetime Wyomingite and am continually surprised by the number of people in my home state who have never visited Devils Tower or Yellowstone. Wyoming is home to some don’t-miss natural wonders. If you call Wyoming home, put Devils Tower on your list of places to visit this summer. If you’re traveling in Wyoming, consider planning a driving route to include the tower. You won’t be disappointed.

children hiking with Devils Tower National Monument in the background

The tower is considered a sacred site to several Native American tribes. Different tribes have slightly differing stories surrounding the tower. A bear plays a prominent role in the stories. It’s said the claws of a giant bear left the unique marks in the rock. Our kids favorite part of the quaint visitor center is the painting of the bear attempting to climb the tower and gouging the stone with his sharp claws. Take time to read about the cultural significance of the tower while visiting.

View of the Belle Fourche Valley from Devils Tower

There are several hiking options at Devils Tower. The must-do trail is the paved Tower Trail which is a 1.3-mile loop at the base of the tower. This trail gives visitors an up-close view of the tower and the enormity of it. Keep an eye out for climbers. Over 4,000 people climb the tower every year. The loop also offers a panoramic view of the Belle Fourche valley.

closeup of Devils Tower National monument

My favorite trail at Devils Tower is the 3-mile Red Beds Trail. It’s a wider loop than the Tower Trail taking hikers through a tree area and prairie. I enjoy the view hiking toward the tower as it looms ahead. Most of the trail is exposed so be prepared in the heat of the summer.

Leaving Devils Tower National Monument as seen from a vehicle side mirror

Devils Tower draws large crowds during the peak summer season. One of our favorite travel games is spotting state license plates as we attempt to find all 50 states on a trip. Devils Tower has never disappointed in the number of different states represented in the parking lot. The visitor center/gift shop is small and can become very crowded, but the crowds on the trails are manageable. A large portion of visitors seem to be happy with the standard family photo with the tower and don’t bother to completely hike the Tower Trail. Devils Tower is a unique natural attraction to explore.


 
Making Peace with Glasses
By     |    Mar 4, 2016
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Making Peace with Glasses

My personality falls strongly under the Type A category. I’m prone to anxiety, organized, sensitive, tend to over-commit, and time-conscious. I’m not a fan of surprises and like to plan for things. These traits, while sometimes helpful as a parent, most of the time leave me exasperated. Raising four children with their own personality quirks seriously messes with my desire for organization and timeliness. Throw into the mix that I can’t read their minds or know what’s happening in their... [Read More]

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By     |    Feb 26, 2016
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Take a Trip: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. Across the United States there are over 400 National Park Service entities. That’s a lot of places deemed worthy to be protected for historical reasons or the natural beauty of an area. I let go of any dream of visiting all of the entities a few years... [Read More]

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Wading through Adulthood
By     |    Feb 19, 2016
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Wading through Adulthood

At times, I feel I missed my calling as an actress. I’m playing the part of an educated, well-spoken, involved mother of four. In reality I’m an overwhelmed, potty-mouthed, tired person masquerading as an adult. I honestly have no clue how all of this adultness manifested itself.  One day I was sitting in a college statistics class and now I’m in meetings discussing community-wide issues and education policies and referring to stakeholders and best practices. One choice led to another... [Read More]

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Reasons I Love You
By     |    Feb 11, 2016
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Reasons I Love You

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Take a Trip: Arches National Park
By     |    Feb 5, 2016
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Take a Trip: Arches National Park

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By     |    Feb 3, 2016
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Meaning Behind Childhood Heroes

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Geocaching: Making the World Smaller
By     |    Jan 27, 2016
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Geocaching: Making the World Smaller

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By     |    Jan 25, 2016
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Take a Trip: Mammoth Cave National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. We had a bucket list of places we knew had to be included on our driving route for our Epic Road Trip to Florida last summer. One of those near the top of the list was Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. We’ve visited several National Park... [Read More]

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Power in Cupcakes
By     |    Jan 22, 2016
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Power in Cupcakes

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Parenting and Advocacy
By     |    Jan 19, 2016
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Parenting and Advocacy

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Take a Trip: Capitol Reef National Park
By     |    Jan 18, 2016
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Take a Trip: Capitol Reef National Park

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