SHERIDAN — A trip to a monument can do a lot for perking up your attitude. Mark your calendars — there are free days in 2014 to national parks and monuments throughout the United States and in Wyoming.
Each year the National Park Service waives entrance fees to national parks and monuments on designated days. There are three opportunities in 2014 left for you to visit these national treasures.
Wyoming is home to two national monuments: Fossil Butte National Monument and Devil’s Tower National Monument.
Located in the southwest corner of Wyoming 9 miles west of Kemmerer on U.S. Highway 30, Fossil Butte National Monument is host to fossilized fish, insects, plants, reptiles, birds and mammals from ancient life in a sub-tropical environment of 50 million years ago.
Guided tours by rangers are available through the months of June, July and August. Visitors are encouraged to schedule ahead for tours and to plan one full day of hiking to explore the park.
There are no fees to Fossil Butte but donations are encouraged. During the fall, cooler temperatures are expected and the park is open to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the winter months.
The northeast corner of Wyoming is host to the first national monument established in 1906 by the stroke of a pen by President Theodore Roosevelt: Devil’s Tower National Monument.
The area is considered sacred by many native people and is home to woodlands and wildlife. There is a small museum, gift shop and visitor center at the base of the monument. There is a walkway around the base of Devil’s Tower for visitors to enjoy the forest and possible wildlife sightings.
Early each January, the National Park Service publishes free days for the year to all national parks and monuments. Visit www.nps.gov for more information on parks and available free days.
2014 free days to Wyoming
monuments and parks
Aug. 25 — National Park Service Birthday
Sept. 27 — National Public Lands Day
Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
By Lois Bell
Sheridan Senior Center