Ascent to Devils Tower-Circumnavigation on 1989-05-12

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, May 12, 1989
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Point Reached:Devils Tower - Circumnavigation
    Elevation:4420 ft / 1347 m

Ascent Trip Report

I first saw the famous huge rocky stump of Devil’s Tower from Route 24, but its top was covered in clouds. Disappointed, I pulled into the park (flashing my Golden Eagle Pass once again) anyway, parked at the visitor center, and checked out the tiny museum/bookstore while hoping the clouds cleared enough for me to see the entire tower. After a little bit I decided to take a walk on the paved path that circumnavigated the tower, using my umbrella to keep dry.
It was a pleasant walk—the rain soon stopped, the views up through the trees and over the boulder fields at the tower’s base to the huge fluted columns of rock were spectacular, and about halfway around the clouds lifted a little bit so I could actually see the entire tower clear to the top. Where the trail went through the boulder field I scampered up the rocks a bit to near the tower’s base before returning to the visitor center.

I asked the ranger there a question about the filming of the movie Close Encounters—apparently Spielberg’s crew was only here for a few days to get establishing shots—before splitting Devil’s Tower. I drove back a little bit on Route 24 to get a distant picture of the tower, but again its top half was covered in clouds. I took a picture anyway.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:230 ft / 70 m
    Total Elevation Loss:60 ft / 18 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Raining, Cool
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:230 ft / 70 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 170 ft / 52 m; Extra: 60 ft / 18m
    Loss on way in:60 ft / 18 m
    Route:Tower Trail
    Start Trailhead:Vistors Center  4250 ft / 1295 m
Descent Statistics

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