PIPESTONE NATIONAL MONUMENT

The American Indian tradition of quarrying pipestone to make into sacred pipes and other items is still practiced today at Pipestone National Monument, making it the only site in the National Park System where resources can be removed from the grounds. Tribes from the area and beyond come here to quarry the stone using sledgehammers, chisels, and other handheld tools; the waiting list for the required permit is as much as 10 years out.

Stairs at Pipestone National Monument | Explore Minnesota

Visitors can tour the grounds to see the 56 active quarry pits, as well as the native tallgrass prairie, quartzite rock formations, and Winnewissa Falls. Inside the visitor center, a museum tells the story of the site's history and culture, and craft workers demonstrate the art of creating pipestone goods.

The site is open daily year-round for hiking and touring the visitor center. Organized interpretive programs, including talks and guided walks, are available in the summer. If you're traveling with kids, ask about the junior ranger and birder programs.

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