Jeffers Petroglyphs are ancient beds of etched bedrock.
The symbols are primarily representations of animals including buffalo, elk, deer, turtles and thunderbirds. Others include human figures, tools and other figures representing life at that time.
This is also one of the most beautiful areas of prairie remaining in Minnesota and an important Native American historical site.
This eighty acre historic site features more than two thousand protected symbols that were carved into the ground by Native Americans as long ago as 3,000 BC. Others may be more recent...possibly carved as recently as the 1700's.The Jeffers Petroglyphs: Native American Rock Art on the Midwestern Plains
This adventure in the Prairieland region of Minnesota gives you an amazing tour of ancient carvings done by Minnesota's first nations in this bedrock. Native Americans consider Jeffers Petroglyphs to be one of their most important spiritual sites and it is believed that ceremonies were held here. That practice continues to this day.
Lac Qui Parle State Park is nearby. This is a wonderful area for Minnesota wildlife watching. In autumn hundreds of thousand of wild geese gather here as they migrate south. Bald eagles are also often seen in or near this state park.
The pink quartzite framed by the prairie is a stunning sight. There are thirty-three acres of native prairie surrounding the petroglyphs.
The Jeffers Petroglyphs site is open varying hours during the year.
You can call ahead to find out when they are open (507-628-5591). There is a small charge to tour the site.
Consider timing your visit for early morning or late evening as the shapes are more easily discerned in the light of those times.
Some of the most stunning views are of the pink quartzite embedded in the prairie grass. There are also at least 100 varieties of wild flowers and prairie grasses in this prairie. This is one of the most beautiful stands of Minnesota Prairie in the state.
When you finish your visit, don't just return to the parking lot.
Instead, continue on the mile long trail until you reach the "buffalo Rub" where bison used to rub up against the rocks to dislodge their thick winter coats.
To get to Jeffers Petroglyphs, drive 12 miles south of Sanborn by taking Highway 71 to County Road 10, then following the signs. If you choose, take a short detour to Red Rock Falls County park where you can enjoy the waterfall in the park.
In this area you can also visit the Sod House on the Prairie, Walnut Grove and Pipestone National Monument. The Prairieland region is also where you can visit New Ulm, Harkin Store, The World's Largest Twine Ball, and Blue Mounds State Park.
Photos courtesy of Trip Advisor