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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Bear Lodge (Devils Tower) Weekdend Trip from Denver

One of the things I wanted to do when I moved to Colorado was visit Devils Tower. My dad and I watched "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" when I was little and I became obsessed with the mashed potato scene. Fast forward to now, I convinced one of my best friends to make the drive up to remote northeastern Wyoming with me. I will not lie, it is quite the hike from Denver, but I 100 percent think it was worth it. I've included the route we took and where we stopped along the way! Have y'all been to Devils Tower National Monument?

The Hilltop Bar & Grill

On our way up from Denver we stopped in for lunch at this Wheatland golf-course restaurant. It was delicious! Very classic American options (cheeseburgers, grilled cheeses, etc.). They do have a bit of outdoor seating as well.

Douglas, Wyoming's Jack

I had written about Douglas a while back so I had to visit the giant jackelope statue. It's a cute little town.

The Rail Yard Gillette

We grabbed dinner to-go at this nice Gillette restaurant. I got a Southwestern wedge salad that was good and the homemade cakes are yummy!

Empire Lodge

Highly recommend picking this lodging for your trip. It's about 35 minutes from the entrance of Devil's Tower and it's affordable. One night split between the two of us was about $50 a person. They are mini cabins with kitchenettes (we made eggs and toast in the morning before leaving), a bathroom, bunkbeds and a queen bed. The front porch has a table so we ate our meals outside to enjoy the weather.

Devils Tower National Monument

The whole point of this post! Bear Lodge is a massive piece of rock that rose up from the Earth...well they aren't sure how or what exactly it is. Some people think it's a giant petfried tree stump (it isn't) and the Indigenous tale of how it came to be is that people were running from a massive bear and the earth rose up to protect them, the lines down the sides are the bear's claw marks. It's one of those landmarks where you don't see it until your about a mile out and it does rise up from the surrounding area in such an odd way. Highly recommend getting there early (on a rainy Memorial Day we got there at around 8am to an empty parking lot, but when we were done the parking lot was full). Definitely hike the trail that goes around the entire monument, you'll understand the scale of it which is something you don't get from photos.

Outpost Cafe

On our way back to Denver we popped into this gas station restaurant and had a delicious meal. The chicken fried steak tastes like something I would get back home and I highly recommend ending with a ice cream sundae.

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