Remember When Steven Spielberg Popularized Wyoming’s Devil Tower?
Anything can gain popularity once its used as a significant source of pop culture. This is true for anything at all. Its even true to the first national monument in the United States of America, which happens to reside in Wyoming and is none other than Devils Tower. It seems that some 45ish years ago, that particular monument become more popular than ever.
It was in 1906 that President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the laccolithic rock, primarily made of igneous rock, as the first national monument in U.S. history. However, it would be some 71 years later that it gained a certainly notoriety into pop culture.
You likely noticed Devils Tower in the preview for that particular legendary film which was released in 1977, 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'. The movie starred Richard Dreyfuss, who was coming off his spectacular role in the film 'Jaws', just two years prior. Both of the films happened to be filmed by the now legendary director, Steven Spielberg.
As a fun note on that particular film, Spielberg attempted to cast actors such as Steve McQueen, James Caan, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, and Jack Nicholson in the role of Roy Neary. As legend would have it, Dreyfuss had to convince Spielberg to give him the role.
But in the film, Wyoming's Devils Tower plays a key role, as it became a key backdrop used for the landing site for the UFOs within the film. To avoid spoiling anything more than the above video already has, we'll tell you that since the film, as 'Wyoming Business Report' says, "...the imposing geological structure is a key vacation destination today - one that's known for rock climbing, hiking, night skies and cultural heritage."
Wyoming is known for its tourism and since that film was released back in 1977, the national monument has seen a crazy uptick in it fair share. But why wouldn't it? Devils Tower stands at 867 feet from base to summit, which is incredible in itself. But since being made popular by the film, it's now become a popular spot for climbing, which many have successfully done since then.
As you can see, even for the most experienced climbers, it doesn't exactly look like it's the most fun climb, but it definitely makes for a unique challenge. But it certainly has taken on a whole new reputation for tourists ever since Steven Spielberg helped put it on the map of pop culture with such an iconic film. Wyoming's know for its tourism and this is certainly a good part of that.
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