Devils Tower is the most “upstanding” feature of the Great Plains. From even 30 miles (50 km) away, the nearly vertical column of igneous rock looms large, standing 867 feet (264 m) from base to summit. Its elevation is 5,112 feet (1,546 m) above sea level and some 1,267 feet (386 m) above the north-flowing Belle Fourche River, which excavated the buried igneous feature. Gazing up from the base to the summit is an awesome experience.
The landscape of Devils Tower National Monument, of which the tower is the key feature, is the result of a unique interaction of sedimentary, igneous, and erosional processes. This virtual experience will highlight these processes and the role each played in the formation of Devils Tower. First, the deposition of a thick layer of sedimentary rocks set the stage for subsequent geologic events. Second, igneous activity created the tower itself. And third, erosional processes exposed the tower to the world.