Due to the fact that I'm afraid of heights, the chances of me actually doing this are probably slim to none. However, let's pretend I don't have that fear. What would it take to really climb Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming? Answer: it's not as hard as you might think.

A couple weeks ago, Chris Barrow shared a relatively short video of his first climb on Devil's Tower. He makes it look easy. Spoiler Alert: it's not.

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That's impressive. The National Park Service has an extensive guide on the do's and don'ts of a Devil's Tower climb. They share that the technical difficulty ranks between 5.7 and 5.13. If you don't know what that means, you really don't need to consider doing this climb. They also have this very basic rule you MUST follow:

Register before your climb at the climbing kiosk located at the head for the Tower Trail (visitor center parking area). Complete the left side of the card and keep the right side to deposit after your climb. Registration is a legal requirement for all persons planning to climb or scramble above the boulder field. Failure to obtain a permit is subject to citation and fine.

Other things to consider include planning ahead meaning to know what the weather forecast is. Sounds basic, but you can't and wouldn't want to get caught on this rock in the middle of a thunderstorm.

You're also not allowed to leave any gear on Devil's Tower or use chipping or gluing maneuvers during your climb. You'd think that would be obvious, but in today's society it's necessary to spell everything out.

I would LOVE to say that I completed this at some point. For me, that's likely dreaming. Maybe for you if you're an experienced climber and know what you're doing, it's possible. Make sure to check out the full National Park Service guide if climbing Devil's Tower is something you'd like to put on a to-do list someday.

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To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

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Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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