Devils Tower and the surrounding area are magnificent! As you plan your visit, you will definitely want to take a few days to discover this region. Start by crossing the South Dakota state line into the Northern Black Hills of Wyoming via I-90. A stop in the small town of Beulah at the Buffalo Jump Saloon will satisfy your appetite. Travel just a few short miles down the road and stop at the Vore Buffalo Jump. This is one of North America’s most important and spectacular archeological sites. See the excavation and learn the history, science, and culture of North American Plains Indians.
Back out on I-90, about 15 miles down the highway, pull off at Exit 189 and discover the historic town of Sundance. Named after Sundance Mountain where Indians performed their tribal rituals. The Sundance Kid was named after the town because that’s where he started his outlaw life. This is the real Sundance… not the “movie version”! Here you will find wide streets (better for turning around horse and ox drawn supply wagons), lots of history and friendly folks. Spend the night in any of the variety of lodging options, including Bearlodge Mountain Resort, a couple of nice little motels, a Best Western hotel, or you can camp. When you wake up, enjoy a tasty breakfast at one of the local diners.
Depending on what time (and season) you arrive, you may want to explore the Bear Lodge Mountains first. Hike, mountain bike or when there is snow, go snowshoeing or snowmobiling! These beautiful mountains are an extension of the Black Hills and are just as steeped in mystery, beauty, and history. Back in town, there are cute gift shops, great places to eat like the family run business, Longhorn Saloon & Grill, as well as art galleries.
Take a unique step back in time with the Sip & Walk Tour that takes you through a living history of the town. Real people play true characters from Sundance’s history. The tour finishes at the Crook County Museum and its soon-to-be new home, “Old Stoney”—a huge sandstone building that was once the schoolhouse. You’ll find plenty to do right there in Sundance for a full day and a second night!
Head west on Wyoming State Highway 14 toward Devils Tower National Monument. This pretty 27-mile drive takes you through hills and valleys. You’ll catch glimpses of “the Tower” as you approach. Once there, plan to spend an hour or two exploring. The visitor center always has good information on the geology, history, and stories about the monument. Take the easy, paved walk around the base and don’t forget to look up! Most often you’ll see brave climbers scaling the sides of the tower.
A stop at Devils Tower Trading Post, either on the way to or from the Monument, will provide you with many gift shop items as well as snacks for the rest of your journey. If you like to camp – there is no better place to stay and explore the area than Devils Tower KOA. It’s unique in that the campground is part of the historic Campstool Ranch and has been in the Driskill family for six generations! Within full view of Devils Tower – you’ll find a restaurant, gift and sweet shop, a heated outdoor pool as well as a playground.
Just 9 miles past Devils Tower, on Hwy 24 North, is the old west oasis that is Hulett. Visitors are pleasantly surprised to find first-class dining, fine artwork, a museum and award-winning accommodations. Stay the night here or continue on…
On past Hulett, but before the town of Alva, you’ll find Diamond Bar 7 Trail Rides. This is your opportunity to view the Bear Lodge Mountains on horseback! After that adventure, continue to the tiny town of Aladdin—population 15. A must stop is the Aladdin General Store. Be prepared though, as they do not have indoor plumbing. So if you need to use “the facilities”, look for the outhouse out back!
About 5.6 miles past Aladdin on Hwy 24 East you’ll see Hay Creek Road. Turn north, go ¾ of a mile and stay a night or two (or more!), at JC Stage Stop B&B Resort. This is a perfect location to get away from it all. Choose to camp in either a camping cabin or RV site with all the hook-ups. The Bunk House is perfect for families, or you can even stay in the house (B&B). Your hosts are friendly and knowledgeable about the area, plus your horses, dogs, and motorcycles are all welcome!
Adventure on to Belle Fourche, SD. The heartbeat of this town is Agriculture. Steeped in cowboy, rodeo and pioneering history, the traditions never end in Belle Fourche. Located at the geographic center of the continental United States, you’ll discover a marker stating just that at the Visitor Center. Spend some time investigating the Tri-State Museum. Here, you will learn all about the cowboys, settlers, railroad, rodeo and even military history of the region. Outside of the rich history of the area, it’s an adventure in itself to delve into the natural surroundings. The Belle Fourche Reservoir, located 8 miles east of Belle Fourche on Owl Creek, is picture-perfect in any season. Rocky Point Recreation Area is located on the reservoir and is open for camping, boating, and year-round exploring. Back in “Belle”, stroll along the scenic 5-mile River Walk and take in the beauty of the Belle Fourche River. If you happen to be in the area mid-week, partake in the downtown event—“Hometown Thursdays.” Independence Day is also a huge event in Belle Fourche! The Black Hills Round-up and Rodeo is a week-long celebration with a parade, music, carnival, food and festivities. The most popular event is the rodeo. This is where they will crown the next Miss Rodeo South Dakota and light up the sky with one of the biggest and best fireworks displays in the region. Stay a night or two at any of their eight motels and four campgrounds.
Regardless of which way you start this itinerary, where you stay or what you explore, you are sure to discover beautiful scenery, friendly people, and rich history—and we guarantee you will take home a lifetime of memories!