Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
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The 282-acre Pipestone National Monument is located just northwest of the city of Pipestone, Minnesota. This National Monument was created in 1937 to protect the pipestone quarries used by area native peoples since the 17th century. Pipestone (catlinite) is a relatively soft stone that Native Americans used to carve ceremonial pipes for smoking. Native Americans are still allowed to quarry the pipestone from the grounds. This location is said to be the preferred source of pipestone among area tribes. Around 1700 the quarries here were controlled by the Dakota Sioux and the pipestone was only available to other tribes through trade.

The pipestone’s color ranges from mottled pink to brick red. The pipestone is found in veins of 12 to 18 inches thick between layers of hard Sioux quartzite rock.

Pipestone National Monument is open year-round from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, except it is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. This visitor center has an orientation video, exhibits, and a gift shop. Pipestone carving demonstrations by Native Americans are held from May through October. There is a ¾ mile long paved walking path that loops through the grounds. This path takes visitors past pipestone quarries, tall grass prairie habitat, and exposed Sioux quartzite rock. The path also leads visitors to Winnewissa Falls and along Pipestone Creek. Winnewissa Falls has about a 20-foot drop. The falls can be viewed from below and above.

There is no fee to enter Pipestone National Monument. Dogs are allowed on the ground of Pipestone National Monument (except not in the visitor center) but must be kept on a six-foot leash.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Historic site. Prairie habitat. Waterfall.


Historically significant
ADA accessible
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Geologically significant
Near lake or river
Potable water



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