Pipestone National Monument is located in southwestern Minnesota, just north of the city of Pipestone, Minnesota. It is located along the highways of U.S. Route 75, Minnesota State Highway 23 and Minnesota State Highway 30.
The catlinite, or "pipestone", has been traditionally used to make ceremonial pipes, vitally important to traditional Plains Indian religious practices. The quarries are sacred to most of the tribe of North America, Dakota, Lakota, and other tribes of Native Americans, and were neutral territory where all Nations could quarry stone for ceremonial pipes.
During the summer months, there are cultural demonstrations at the monument. The Upper Midwest Indian Cultural Center, located inside the visitor center, sponsors demonstrations of pipemaking by native craftworkers using the stone from the quarries. Local Native Americans carve the stones using techniques passed down from their ancestors. Many of the demonstrators are third or fourth generation pipe makers.
The visitor center features exhibits about the natural and cultural history of the site, including a petroglyph display. There is also an orientation video about the history of the pipestone quarries.