Why Is It Called Devils Tower?

Devil’s Tower is an awe-inspiring natural feature located in the iconic state of Wyoming, USA. It stands well above the flat terrain outside of the Black Hills and has been a popular tourist destination for hundreds of years, attracting visitors from all across the globe. But have you ever paused to consider why this area is so named?

What could have given this unique rock formation such a sinister sounding name? Well, if you have ever pondered this question or are just curious about this fascinating attraction, then read on!

We are about to take a journey into the history surrounding Devil’s Tower and explore the various theories behind why this landmark is so called. So, fasten your seatbelt, and let’s get started!

Why is it called Devil’s Tower?

Devil’s Tower, located in northeastern Wyoming, is a spectacular geological formation that has been inspiring people since the time of the region’s indigenous peoples.

It has stood tall above the landscape for millions of years, and continues to captivate visitors to this day. In addition to its impressive features, Devil’s Tower is also the first National Monument, created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 190 But why is it called Devil’s Tower?

Early English Name

The first known name for the tower, Bad God’s Tower, was translated by American Army Colonel Richard Irving Dodge upon his visit in the 19th century. During his visit, he asked the local Native American tribes and according to their answer, this was the name as handed down from their forefathers.

The Tower was not always called Devil’s Tower, however. Early American settlers adapted this name from the Native American tribes who originally used the term “Mato Tipila” for the tower, which translates to “Bear Lodge”.

Native American Legends

The tower’s deviation from its original naming has been attributed to Native American legends.

There are a variety of creation legends which have been passed down by the Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Lakota Sioux people, among others. In the Lakota Sioux legend of the Bear and the Seven Little Brothers, a bear climbs the mountain and envoys at the top of the mountain begin to chase him around it. The Great Spirit makes the mountain higher to make it impossible for the bear to get to the topside.

And the bear, in turn, is left at the top of the mountain and remains to be the only creature now called “Mato Tipila” or “Bear Lodge”.

Popular Culture & Education

In popular culture, the moniker “Devil’s Tower” has been widely embraced.

It is widely recognized due largely to its starring role in the popular 1977 film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The tower has since maintained its place in popular culture, rivaled by its use as a teachable decorative instrument. In an educational context, the Tower is used to teach geology, and provides an excellent opportunity to observe the effects of weathering, erosion, and other geological features.


Devil’s Tower is a unique geological formation that has captivated native and non-native onlookers for centuries. The origin of the name has been attributed to a variety of Native American legends, though it was officially codified in its current form by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge in the 19th century. In every context, be it pop culture or education, Devil’s Tower serves as a captivating muse to all who encounter it. Citation URL: https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Devils_Towerhttp://www. nps. gov/deto/learn/historyculture/indians. htmhttps://www. britannica. com/topic/Devils-Tower-Wyoming

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