South Dakota Vacation: Devil's Tower and Aladdin General Store
After our hike to the top of Bear Butte, we went back to our Airbnb, cleaned up, and hit the road for a bit of fun. Since we were close to the Wyoming border, we drove over to visit Devil's Tower. Dad took me here when I was a kid, and I took my own kids about nine years ago. At that time, my daughter was too small to walk the path around it, so she stayed behind with my Mom and my Grandma.
This time, she was more than old enough to take the walk, and so we all went around it. As you can see from the previous photo, large rocks and boulders surround Devil's Tower, so the kids had fun climbing on those prior to walking around it.
There's a fairly level, paved path that goes around the tower, and, clocking in at under two miles, it's an easy little trek that affords one beautiful views of the tower and the surrounding landscape.
Devil's Tower is a butte and the first U.S. National Monument, established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1906. It's notable for being a destination for climbers, who scale the face to reach its full height of 5112 feet.
|A shot of the path that snakes around the tower.|
We also made a pitstop in Aladdin, population 15, to visit the Aladdin General Store (also known as the Wyoming Mercantile). It's been in operation since 1896. That's 123 years! It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
It still serves as a bar, a post office, a freight station, and, of course, a gas station.
Fancy beer is $3.00
If you've ever wondered what it looks like inside a 123-year-old building, well, here you go. The upstairs of the mercantile serves as an antique store/flea market.
The worn-down look of the inside lends to its antiquated charm.
They still use this wood-burning stove. I wonder how old it is?
It was neat to visit this little piece of history and see how it still serves an important purpose to the community in which it resides. While we packed a lot into this day - Bear Butte, Devil's Tower, and Aladdin General Store - we enjoyed every bit of it. And, hey, if you're not living every day of your vacation to the fullest, then why do it at all?