Devils Tower was our first national monument, proclaimed so by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.
Folklore surrounds the monument, the most popular being that six Sioux girls were picking flowers when they were chased by bears. Feeling sorry for them, the Great Spirit raised the ground beneath the girls. The bears tried to climb the rock, but fell off, leaving their scratch marks on the sides.
Geologists can't completely agree on how the tower was formed, but they do agree that it did not protrude out of the ground, but rather was uncovered as softer sedimentary rock eroded away, leaving the harder igneous rock as we see it today.
Climbers have been ascending the tower for centuries, and hundreds climb each summer. However, because the tower is sacred ground to several American Indian tribes, a voluntary climbing ban was set for the month of June when tribal ceremonies occur around the tower.
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