Pipestone National Monument

Travel Brochure

History of Park, Monument, or Memorial:

It was and still is an important site for lots of American Indians and their cultures. They see Pipestone National Monument as a place to be reverent and respectful. Each Indian culture had stories that related the pipe and quarrying grounds. Quarrying is “an open excavation usually for obtaining building stone, slate, or limestone” and has taken place at Pipestone National Monument for thousands of years. Pipestone has and continues to be traded all over North America.

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Fascinating Facts:

  1. Three large boulders at the entrance of Pipestone National Monument are called the Three Maidens and are considered representatives of guardian spirits of the pipestone quarries.

  2. Pipestone is located about 12-17 feet below the ground, between layers of quartzite rock.


  1. The prairies are home to many plants and animals. At the park there are 9 to 13 state-listed rare species, one of the federally threatened flowers is called the Western Prairie-Fringed Orchid.

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Climate:

The warm season lasts from may 23 to Sep. 22 with average high above 70*F, hottest day is July 22 with a high 82*F and low of 62*F.Cold season is nov 27 to March 7 with high below 35*F, Coldest day is Jan. 20 with high of 23*F and low of 7*F. Month with most precipitation is May, least is October. Highest likelihood of snow is in Jan.

Association with Native Americans:

Making pipes out of catlinite was a sacred religious.

Activities and events:

Junior Ranger Program- Explore the Circle Trail, learn about Native cultures of the Upper Midwest, watch pipemakers and quarriers continuing their ancient tradition.

Nature Walk- The Circle Trail, is a paved walking trail that leads to several points of interest at Pipestone National Monument.