Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September 2011 Travel Photo: The Palisades of South Dakota


Palisades State Park is located in eastern South Dakota and is filled with Sioux quartzite formations estimated to be 1.2 billion years old throughout, including in Split Rock Creek which flows through the park. The park is popular with rock climbers who can climb the 50 feet or higher quartzite cliffs. The picture shows King and Queen Rock which are popular with rock climbers.

Sioux quartzite comes from sandstone that was fused into blocks of solid quartz and is pink in color. Plains Indians used this quartzite for their ceremonial pipes.  An American Indian quarry outside of Pipestone, Minnesota was a trading hub whose goods have been found as far as the western side of the Rocky Mountains in archaeological digs.  Many buildings in eastern South Dakota and Minnesota were built out of the rock including the Federal Building in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1892.


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