Many of the state's rock art sites are located in the prairie environs of southwestern Minnesota. Of these sites, Jeffers Petroglyphs is the most well known and best-described; almost 2,000 petroglyphs at this unique site have been identified. The site's documented glyphs, grouped in 207 panels, extend for over 330 meters along the crest of a rose-colored Sioux quartzite formation known as the Red Rock Ridge; additional glyphs may lie undiscovered beneath the encroaching prairie sod.
The site is located in southwestern Minnesota three miles east of T.H. 71 on Cottonwood County Road 10, then one mile south on County Road 2.

The Jeffers site is located on a Sioux quarzite outcrop in a virgin prairie setting.

The site contains several panels of petroglyphs believed to date from 3000 B.C. to A.D. 1750. A new visitor center presents a multi-media show and exhibits about Native American culture and prairie ecology.

Design elements at this National Register site include human, animal and geometric forms, as well as an assortment of glyphs representing tanged projectile points, atlatls, spears and bows and arrows.

Admission is free.

The site is open May through Labor Day: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Fri., Sat and holiday Mon.: 12–5 p.m. Sun.

Additional Information

A "thunderbird" design, a figure commonly observed in rock art nationwide.

Click on picture to view at a larger size.

For more information on rock art in Minnesota, see:

Dudzik, Mark J. "Visions in Stone: The Rock art of Minnesota" In The Minnesota Archeologist, James E. Myster, ed. Vol. 54 1995, 99–108 (St. Paul: Minnesota Archeological Society, 1997).

Lothson, G.A. The Jeffers Petroglyphs Site: A Survey and Analysis of the Carvings. Minnesota Prehistoric Archeology Series No. 12 (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1976).

Roefer, F., M. English and G. Lothson. The Jeffers Petroglyphs: A Cultural-Ecological Study (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1973).

For futher background reading, see:

Grant, Campbell. The Rock Art of the North American Indians, 5th ed. (Cambridge University Press, 1983) .

For children's books on rock art, see:

Dewey, Jennifer Owings. Stories on Stone: Rock Art Images from the Ancient Ones (Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1996)

LaPierre, Yvette. Native American Rock Art: Messages from the Past ( Charlottesville: Thomassen-Grant and Lickle, 1994).

Terzi, Marinella. Prehistoric Rock Art. translated by Angela Ruiz (Chicago: Children's Press, 1992)

The above information was used with the permission Mark Dugzik, State of Minnesota Archeologist.

Call 612-725-2411 for more information.

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