Day Trips From Pipestone

Stainless steel statue of an American Indian woman
Dignity Statue in Chamberlain, SD


Crossroads and Melting Pots:
Day Trips From Pipestone

What else is there to see around here?
This is a common question at the park. Pipestone National Monument is surrounded by other American Indian sites that collectively tell a much larger story of trade, travel, and culture that spans centuries in this region. Some are only an hour away, enabling visitors to see more than one site in a day. Others are nearly three hours away and would consume most of your time for a 'day trip.'

Good Earth State Park

Distance: 1-hour drive southwest

Story: For 400 years (1300 AD - 1700 AD) people from the Oneota Tradition inhabited this site. Tribes including the Omaha, Ponca, Ioway and Otoe (among many others) gathered here for ceremonies and trading. This trade included pipestone from the quarries at Pipestone National Monument!

Site offers: Visitor Center (museum and film), hiking trails, and tallgrass prairie.

For hours and fee information, contact:
26924 480th Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57108
(605) 213-1036

Sherman Park Indian Burial Mounds

Distance: 1-hour drive southwest

Story: Woodland period burial mounds. These burials are 1,600 years old and rest at the top of a hill in Sherman Park. There is a startling contrast between the ancient mounds and the bustling activity surrounding them in downtown Sioux Falls, but this contrast sparks curiosity about the many buried stories that have long passed over the ground we walk today.

Site offers: A large park that offers close-up views of 1,600 year old burial mounds, a zoo, a natural history museum, and softball fields.

For zoo/museum hours and fee information, contact:
S. 22nd St. & S. Kiwanis Ave. (quickest access to mounds)
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 367-8222

Jeffers Petroglyphs

Distance: 80-minute drive east

Story: For 7,000 years, countless generations of American Indians have used the outcropping of Sioux quartzite at this site for carving images. The result is a collection of over 5,000 petroglyphs in total. Jeffers is one of the oldest, continuously used sacred sites in the world.

Site offers: Summer tours, trails, visitor center with museum and exhibits

For hours and fee information, contact:
27160 County Road 2
Comfrey, MN 56019
(507) 628-5591
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village

Distance: 1-hour and 45-minute drive west

Story: This site contains the only Archeodome in the nation! Archaeologists have discovered the remains of an 1,100 year old village, and constructed a building overtop of its excavation. Visitors may circle the active dig site on a ramp inside the building. Around 70-80 lodges are buried on these grounds, and the artifacts unearthed are from all over the country, illustrating the extensive trade and travel happening on this continent well before Europeans arrived.

Site offers: Archeodome, visitor center, activities for kids, museum, gift shop

For hours and fee information, contact:
3200 Indian Village Road
Mitchell, South Dakota 57301
(605) 996-5473
Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center

Distance: 2-hour and 45-minute drive west

Story: A free museum with exhibits and interactive displays. Learn about the history, culture, and legacy of the Očhéthi Sakówiŋ (Seven Council Fires) and the Lakota in particular.

Site offers: Museum, film, gift shop

For hours and other information, contact:
1301 N. Main St.
Chamberlain, SD 57325
(800) 798-3452
Dignity Statue

Distance: 3-hour drive west

Story: Merging three generations together, sculptor Dale Lamphere used the faces of females aged 14, 29, and 55 to create the final face of this 50-foot-tall, stainless steel woman. She is designed to honor the Lakota and Dakota culture while inspiring promise for the future.

Site offers: Up-close view of that statue and a rest area with an indoor Lewis & Clark exhibit.

Location of statue:
On top of a bluff at the rest area between exits 263 and 265 on Interstate 90 near Chamberlain, SD.

Pipestone National Monument

Last updated: August 21, 2020