KOA Campground Review: Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

campsite devils tower wyoming

Looking for a unique destination for an amazing camping holiday? You just found it.

Devil’s Tower in northeast Wyoming is one of the most iconic natural sights in America, a stunning rock formation evoking mystery and ancient legend, that is thought could be the remains of an enormous volcano which erupted centuries ago. Teddy Roosevelt made it the first National Monument, and the site holds a special place in Native American folklore – legend has it that the vertical lines running down the sides of Devil’s Tower, which look as though they were carved into it, were made by a giant bear in pursuit of a group of children, who escaped as the rock rose into the sky.

Whether you believe that story or not, this is undeniably a magical place for a US camping trip. The KOA campsite is ideally-situated, located just outside the monument, under five minutes from several pleasant walking trails including the moderately challenging Red Beds trail, which takes you right the way around the base, with plenty of opportunity to see the curious little prairie dogs that live in the ground around here.

The tower juts out of the surrounding landscape so starkly that it feels like it could have been planted there by aliens – maybe that’s why Steven Spielberg shot parts of Close Encounters of the Third Kind here in 1977. The campsite shows the movie every night at dusk, an experience which is made even more special by having the monument in the background the whole way through. As with most KOAs, the facilities are of a very decent standard. Large tent sites have water, power and firepit, and they are spread out around a really scenic area, with plenty of wildlife all around and often with appealing views of the Belle Fourche river (no swimming unfortunately). It’s especially good for families, with a heated outdoor pool, a large play area, and nightly hayrides. You can cook your meals while getting to know your neighbours at the community campfire, or eat at the on-site restaurant which serves up home-cooked grub for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also right there you have a well-equipped store that sells everything from firewood and ice to souvenir clothing to miniature branding irons so you can stamp your initials on your steak!

The Devil’s Tower campsite has excellent wifi for anyone needing to stay connected with work, or to research what to do every day, and you can also rent bikes if you want to leave the car/ RV behind for the day. It’s also worth remembering that this KOA is pet-friendly, so bring the family pooch along too, he just needs to stay on a leash and have reasonably good manners. There are several sets of well-kept restroom facilities with showers, so you’re never queuing for long in the mornings, and you can do your laundry on-site as well.

In our opinion this is one of the great camping locations in the western United States. Situated right beside an iconic national monument, it’s a perfect base for the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and there’s plenty of other activities available in the area too. Just down the road is Sundance, where one Harry Longabaugh spent some time in jail, which is where the legendary outlaw picked up the nickname The Sundance Kid.

This is a country rich in fascinating history and breathtaking scenery. There’s no better way of getting to know heart and soul of the US than by camping, and at Devil’s Tower you’ll discover one of the all-time best spots to do that.

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