Unlike Mt Rushmore, you can see the tower coming up from miles away, in a relatively flat part of Wyoming.
$15/vehicle entry fee (but it does respect the NPS annual pass). Strong AT&T signal from within the parking lot and the some of the trail.
This tower might look familiar. It is famous in popular media for being the site of the conclusion of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. You cannot climb above the boulder line, without a permit. But you can climb it.
If you so climb it, please don’t do up there, what some a*hole did to the bathroom there.
You can see every crack from the observation scope. It’s that good. It would suck to see someone’s initials love some other initials, if there’s a 50% chance that that pair won’t be together as long as the tower is.
Among geologists, it is famous as an example of columnar basalt. Just like the ones I mentioned to watch for in western Washington State’s Columbia River gorge. But this one is in the form of a giant tower.
There is a trail all the way around the tower and you should be able to hike it in about an hour. You get to see the hexagonal columns from every angle. And look out from the view from the tower.
And there are prairie dog towns on the road to and from the tower, too. And just as vigilant.
Deer too but no pictures. I had to avoid them on the road. But if you get the chance to see a group prancing around and see them approaching a fence. Get a camera ready. They jump over fences 4 ft high, and it looks completely effortless.