Pipestone National Monument lies just outside Pipestone, Minn., 25 miles north of I-90. The monument is open year-round, though hours vary by season. The ¾-mile Circle Trail leads through tallgrass prairie past active quarries to Winnewissa Falls and other cascades. Highlights include the ledge on which guide Joseph La Framboise carved the initials of 1838 Nicollet expedition members, as well as Leaping Rock, to which John Frémont made his Fourth of July leap that year with the American flag. Visitors are welcome to watch as quarriers labor to reach and remove the pipestone. The visitor center includes a museum and continually shows an award-winning 22-minute interpretive film, Pipestone: An Unbroken Legacy. From April to October on-site artisans demonstrate the art of carving and shaping pipes from the sacred stone. —B.M.