Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bear Butte "bear" illustrated

A discussion at South Dakota Magazine's website lead me to contact Bear Butte State Park Manager Jim Jandreau about identifying the "bear" shape in the mountain east of Sturgis.

Here's the way Jim explained it - picture a big dog laying next to the fireplace with his legs toward you and his head to the right. Here is my crude attempt at an illustration.

Oral traditions from several Native American tribes connect Bear Butte's bear with a legend about a huge bear attacking a group of people who climbed upon nearby Devil's Tower. After scratching the sides of Devil's Tower to the point of exhaustion, the bear wandered away to lie down and die creating Bear Butte. More stories are available at the National Park Service website.

Information about visiting Bear Butte is available at the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks website.

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