Home of historic catlinite quarries, with a rich cultural and religious history and unique geology, Pipestone National Monument is one of Minnesota's most historically significant sites. The monument got its name due to the beautiful red-colored "Pipestone" or catlinite that was quarried at the site for centuries. The quarries are of huge historical and religious significance to Native Americans who used the soft stones to carve ceremonial pipes used during celebrations and ceremonies.
Located in southwestern Minnesota, just north of the city of Pipestone, the quarries also have religious significance to other numerous North American tribes and were neutral territory where ancient tribes would come to quarry stones. The site was made a National Monument in 1937, protecting the stone and commemorating its rich history with only Native Americans allowed to quarry.
The monument has a wide range of activities to keep visitors busy during their visit. The site has a visitor's center available, as well as a small museum with an interpretive film and some displays detailing the site's history and significance. Demonstrations of pipe making by experts are available to visitors as well as a wide variety of gift items made of Pipestone. Hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities are also available making a trip to Pipestone a very rewarding experience for visitors.