Devil’s Gate in Wyoming

Devil’s Gate in Wyoming

Felsentor – once an important landmark and rock breakthrough

Devil’s Gate is a breakthrough through a granite ridge called Sweetwater Rocks in Natrona County, Wyoming. The Sweetwater River has persevered over time to create this approximately 100 meter deep and 15 meter wide canyon. Devil’s Gate is centrally located just south of Wyoming, southwest of the town of Casper, near Pathfinder Reservoir and the Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge.

Devil’s Gate in Wyoming on the Oregon Trail

Landmark on the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail

Devil’s Gate was an important landmark for settlers heading west. The ” Devil ‘s Gate ” is on the Mormon Trail, the path on which the Mormons once traveled from Illinois with their covered wagons to Utah to settle there. The rock gate could not be crossed with the covered wagon, the passage was not wide enough for that. The Sweetwater Rocks had to be bypassed with the covered wagon. However, the Devil’s Gate was on the Mormon Trail and also on the Oregon Trail(Emigrant Trails) a very important waypoint. Numerous emigrants have immortalized themselves with rock inscriptions at Devil’s Gate, and graves have also been discovered. Today, as then, the Sweetwater River meanders gently through the rock arch.

The teeth of the beast

In the legends of the Native Americans of the USA, the rock gate was created by a wild animal, a beast. The Indians wanted to kill it. Fleeing from the arrows, the beast is said to have ripped out the rocks with its tusks to flee from the tormentors. At the time when the United States was settled by whites, there was an important trading post near the Felsentor. After the end of the wagon train era, however, the trading post was abandoned again. Today there is a visitor center at Devils’s Gate, which is run by the Mormons. The well-known “Independence Rock” in Wyoming is only a few kilometers away from “Devil’s Gate”.

Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming

Mystical Devil Tower

According to liuxers, Devils Tower National Monument is located in the US state of Wyoming, on the edge of the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains. The Devils Tower is a solitary, huge granite rock monolith with a diameter of 150 meters and a height of 265 meters.

Devils Tower sanctuary in Wyoming, with a sleek highway truck in the foreground

Over 300,000 tourists visit Devils Tower every year. Due to the appearance of Devils Tower, the giant rock was a sacred and forbidden place to a variety of Native American peoples and tribes. Already in 1906 Devils Tower received the status of a national monument.

Climbing paradise and sanctuary

Devils Tower consists of regular angular shaped basalt columns, similar to Devils Postpile National Monument in California. Researchers are still arguing about the formation of Devils Tower around 40 million years ago. A volcanic origin is suspected. The rock itself is very inaccessible. Free climbers are allowed to scale the rock walls. The surface of Devils Tower is quite cracked and ridged, so climbing is possible. Only in the month of June is the rock closed due to Native American celebrations.

Devil’s Tower and much more

There is a very informative visitor center near Devils Tower National Monument; a campsite is not far away. Devils Tower became known worldwide through a film by Steven Spielberg, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. In the Black Hills there are other interesting and worth seeing protected areas. A round trip to the most important sights of the region is therefore recommended.

Native American shrine in the shape of a thimble

Product of erosion

The Devils Tower was created by the erosion of the earth material that once surrounded it. Over the course of millions of years, the earth has been eroded by wind and weather. The granite of the Tower, on the other hand, resisted erosion and was preserved. Today the Tower is surrounded by a beautiful, protected landscape with flora and fauna worth seeing. Around the Devils Tower there are several, admittedly not very long, circular hiking trails to explore.

Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming