Devils Tower institutes voluntary climbing ban to respect Native Americans

May 29, 2013

Devils Tower National Monument is asking climbers to avoid the monument during the month of June.

The monument has implemented a voluntary climbing ban each June since 1996 out of respect for Native Americans.

Spokesperson Nancy Stimson says the tower and surrounding areas are sacred to tribal communities, and important ceremonies take place there in June.

“So we’re trying to be respectful of the Indian ceremonies,” Stimson said, adding that recreational activities on the rock formation are considered a desecration. Stimson says that typically, 85 percent of climbers respect the voluntary ban.