National Register of Historic Places


Inyan Kara Mountain

Crook County, Wyoming

Date Added to Register

Tuesday, April 24, 1973

Smithsonian Number

48CK57

Read all about it

Inyan Kara Mountain is located in the Black Hills region of northeastern Wyoming. Although the mountain is not the highest peak in the Black Hills its association with the culture of the Plains Indians is significant. It also stood as a landmark to early travelers and explorers in the region. In addition, the mountain is a historic site which, on several occasions, served as a host to dramatic events relative to Indian-White relations prior to Euro-American migration to the area after 1875.

According to one Sioux legend the Black Hills region was the dwelling place of the ''Great Spirit'' who had set aside the area as a temporary resting place for the spirits of the departed braves so that they would not become blinded by the splendors of the final happy hunting ground upon arriving there. The outlying mountains of Devil's Tower, Inyan Kara and Bear Buttes were also considered sacred places and were often visited, not only by the Sioux, but by many other tribes as well. It is also said that when Indians entered the vicinity of Inyan Kara, they would hang offerings on the rocks and trees to appease the thunder gods who were responsible for the mysterious rumblings heard during the calmest days and nights.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources