Pipestone National Monument offers a ¾ mile walking path, orientation film, museum, picnic area and a gift shop. As a visitor you will be able to explore American Indian culture and the natural resources of the tallgrass prairie, which come alive with wildflowers during the summer months. Established by Congress in 1937 to protect the historic pipestone quarries, the site is considered sacred by many American Indians. Spanning centuries of use, American Indians continue to quarry pipestone at the Monument.
Pipestone National Monument, by virtue of its protected status, has some of the only native tallgrass prairie habitat left in the southwest Minnesota. The plants of the prairie can be seen close up along the Circle Trail and viewed as a stunning mosaic from the road. Over 500 species of plants occur at the Monument; many of them are rare. One federally threatened species, the Western prairie-fringed orchid, occurs at the Monument but is not visible most of the year from the Circle Trail. Between 9 and 13 state-listed rare species also occur at the Monument, mostly associated with the rock outcroppings.