Pipestone National Monument


Area and County

    Pipestone County
    Southwest Minnesota

Driving Directions

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282 acres


Area Map


N44 0.521, W96 19.067

Hiking Trails

¾ mile paved trail


No hunting

Ecological Classification Province  

Prairie Parkland Province

Ecological Classification

North Central Glaciated Plains


Inner Coteau

Land Type Association(s)

Trosky Till Plain

Native Plant Communities1

Crystalline Bedrock Outcrop (Prairie), Sioux Quartzite Subtype

Mesic Oak Savanna (Southern)

Mesic Prairie (Southern)

Wet Prairie (Southern)

Ownership Minnesota DNR logo          

National Park Service










Visitor Photos

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Wayne Rasmussen

Western Minnesota offers many opportunities for travelers too

  Pipestone National Monument   Pipestone National Monument
  Pipestone National Monument    


  Pipestone National Monument    

The story of the founding of the Iroquois Confederacy is one of the most fascinating and wonderful that history has to offer us. It is the story of Deganawida and his disciple Hiawatha who single handedly brought about the unity of five warring tribes in America, many hundreds of years before Europeans settled the country.
Celebrated each summer at Pipestone, MN until 2008

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos



  Pipestone National Monument
Brett Whaley
  Pipestone National Monument  
  Pipestone National Monument
  Pipestone National Monument  

No information

  Pipestone National Monument
William Bechmann

Published on Aug 18, 2013

Pipestone National Monument is located in southwestern Minnesota, just north of the city of Pipestone, Minnesota. It is located along the highways of U.S. Route 75, Minnesota State Highway 23 and Minnesota State Highway 30. The catlinite, or "pipestone", has been traditionally used to make ceremonial pipes, vitally important to traditional Plains Indian religious practices. The quarries are sacred to most of the tribe of North America, Dakota, Lakota, and other tribes of Native Americans, and were neutral territory where all Nations could quarry stone for ceremonial pipes. The Sioux tribes may have taken control of the quarries around 1700, but the Minnesota pipestone has been found inside North American burial mounds dating from long before that, and ancient Indian trails leading to the area suggest pipestone may have been quarried there for many centuries.




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Other Videos
  Pipestone National Monument - Minnesota
Travels with Yoly

Published on Jul 16, 2013

This National Monument is truly a sacred place and has been for close to 2000 years. The Sioux account as to the origin of the pipestone, as recorded by George Catlin in 1836 states that .... At an ancient time the Great Spirit, in the form of a large bird, stood upon the wall of rock and called all the tribes around him, and breaking out a piece of the red stone formed it into a pipe and smoked it, the smoke rolling over the whole multitude. He then told his red children that this red stone was their flesh, that they were made from it, that they must all smoke to him through it, that they must use it for nothing but pipes; and as it belonged alike to all tribes, the ground was sacred, and no weapons must be used or brought upon it.

In 1937 Congress established Pipestone National Monument to provide traditional quarrying for Indians. Today pipe carvings are appreciated as art-works as well as for ceremonial use. Once again, as commanded by the spirit bird in the Sioux story of it's creation, the pipestone here is quarried by an American Indian enrolled in a tribe recognized by the US Government. An age old tradition continues in the modern world, ever changing yet rooted in the past.

The unique and special stone is also referred to as Catlinite, named after George Catlin.

Be sure to enjoy the Circle Trail and take in beautiful Winnewissa falls and then explore the ancient quarries. The Native Americans who are tasked with quarrying the stone treat it with reverence and respect. Please do the same and not remove any pieces of the stone, nor intrude in the space assigned to each workman. The pipestone is still quarried by hand just as it has been for centuries.

  Postcards: Pipestone National Monument

Uploaded on Dec 14, 2011

For more information about Pioneer Public TV, including how you can become a member, go to http://www.pioneer.org. Additional Pioneer productions can also be viewed online at http://video.pioneer.org.

Pipestone quarries in southwest Minnesota are a sacred place for Native American Indian tribes. Also, we will visit an old-time threshing bee, and college students learn to speak Chinese through song.

  Winnewissa Falls, Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota, April 2009
Rich Parker

Uploaded on May 2, 2009

panoramic view of the waterfall and surrounding area

  Pipestone National Monument May 2013
Nan Weber

Published on May 16, 2013

Here are a few views of my visit to Pipestone National Monument. Most of this is the cliffs not the pipestone quarry areas. What a wonderful, sacred area.

  Pipestone National Monument in MN- October 2008

Uploaded on Oct 6, 2008

Here is Pipestone National Monument - visited in OCT08




Visitor Sightings

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Wayne Rasmussen


eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)

eastern cottontail

MinnesotaSeasons.com Observations

eBird Field Checklist (Complete)

eBird Field Checklist (Three Maidens)


Two mammal species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:


Special concern

big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus)

western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis)


Fourteen plant species with conservation status in Minnesota and two species on the watch list are found here:



blackfoot quillwort (Isoetes melanopoda)

hairy waterclover (Marsilea vestita)

western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara)



blue mudplantain (Heteranthera limosa)

disk water-hyssop (Bacopa rotundifolia)

tapertip flatsedge (Cyperus acuminatus)

two-headed water starwort (Callitriche heterophylla var. heterophylla)


Special concern

buffalo grass (Buchloë dactyloides)

devil’s tongue (Opuntia humifusa var. humifusa)

Oregon woodsia (Woodsia oregana ssp. cathcartiana)

slender plantain (Plantago elongata)

three-stamened waterwort (Elatine triandra)

tumblegrass (Schedonnardus paniculatus)

water mudwort (Limosella aquatica)


Watch list

Engelmann’s spikerush (Eleocharis engelmannii)

spreading yellowcress (Rorippa sinuata)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Crystalline Bedrock Outcrop (Prairie): Sioux Quartzite Subtype ROs12a2

Mesic Oak Savanna (Southern) UPs24a

Mesic Prairie (Southern) UPs23a

Wet Prairie (Southern) WPs54b


American cow parsnip

brittle prickly pear

crown vetch

silverleaf scurfpea




Created: 6/21/2016

Last Updated:

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