Walk the Loop at Pipestone National Monument

Rate this Adventure Minnesota Pipestone National Monument Parking

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Driving across the prairie on I-90 can be long and relatively eventless. When you're ready to get out of the summer heat and cool off, there is a short hike that winds through native plants and natural rock formations in Pipestone. The Plains Peoples have come here for thousands of years to meditate and cool off next to the fast flowing creek. 

Near the border of South Dakota in Minnesota, 30 minutes north of I-90 on County Route 23 or State Route 75 is the historic town of Pipestone. From the center of town heading north on Hiawatha Avenue is the entrance into Pipestone National Monument. Entrance into the monument is $7 for non-interagency pass holders.

From the parking lot is the 3/4 mile long loop that gently walks through prairie, rock outcroppings, summa fields, and a stream bed. The trail is paved, and appropriate for wheel chair access. The air is cooler along the shaded red quartzite rock walls where ferns grow in the middle of summer. Tobacco ties from native prayers line the trails and fields from pilgrims. Almost a half mile in, is the 25 foot tall Winnewissa Falls. This is the perfect place to sit and cool off in the cold mist. When you're done, follow the loop around back to the visitor center.

Before leaving town, check out the Historic Calumet Inn for a whiskey while soaking in it's western atmosphere.

Pack List

  • Outdoor Research Helios Sun Hat
  • Merrell Capra Bolt Hiking Shoes
  • Teton Sports TrailRunner Hydration Pack
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Zeal Sunglasses
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Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

0.75 Miles

Elev. Gain:

40 Feet

Features:

Bathrooms
Food Nearby
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Added by Michael Wigle

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