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Lightning Strikes Lead To Temporary Climbing Closures

Devils Tower National Monument

National Park News

The southeast face of Devils Tower was struck by lightning on the evening of August 19th, blowing apart a large boulder at the base of the tower and shifting a washing-machine-sized rock almost two feet down slope. This rock is located almost 700 feet up Devils Tower and on a rock climbing route.  Directly below the rock in question is Tower Trail, the most popular hiking trail in the park. Park officials closed several climbing routes along the southeast and east faces of the tower until the stability of the rock could be determined. Working with staff from the Geologic Resource Division, it was determined that the rock is no more a significant hazard than any number of other rocks in the area. All climbing routes were reopened on August 24th. Lightning and other meteorological events are constantly altering the shape of the tower and are a natural part of its formation.



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