Pipestone National Monument

By: Natalie Engle


Pipestone is a sacred place for many American Indians. The monument would most likely not be up and running if it weren't for the quarries. This is where people gather the stone that is made into the pipes. The first people to map the area were the people that were involved in The Nicollet Expedition. Thanks to them, stone pipes have been used for a really long time at Pipestone. The carvers there love the stone because it is soft yet durable. American Indian descendants tell stories that have been passed down for generations at Pipestone. Pipestone also have collected many artifacts and objects over the many years the monument has been there. They have collected documents, photographs, tools, leather, pipes, and many plants and animals. They have found and kept over 54,000 items.


The summers at Pipestone are warm and humid. The average temperature is around 80-100* F. The winters at Pipestone are cold and very snowy. The average temperature is leaning towards 0-10* F. Conditions in this part of Minnesota can change rapidly. Pipestone's annual rainfall is about 20-25 inches.

Activities and Events

Pipestone has both indoor and outdoor activities. The indoor activities include a museum exhibit, bookstore, gift shop, and cultural demonstrations. There outdoor activities involve a nature walk, picnic tables near the Three Maidens (definition in fascinating facts), and a kid's program. The trails for the nature walk are open year round so you better wear the appropriate clothing since the weather each season differ.

Fascinating Facts

~ when the monument was built, it preserved a small area of tallgrass pine

~ the monument has over 500 plant species

~ about 26 fish species

~ many state-listed rare plants and animals call Pipestone home

~ Pipestone has the Three Maidens which, for the American Indians, is a cultural offering spot. They offer tobacco to spirits.

Association with Indians

Again, Pipestone is a sacred place for many American Indians. The stories at Pipestone have been passed down from the American Indian's descendants. The monument was built for the American Indians and their stone pipes.

Awesome Pictures