Tours

Take a tour of Jeffers Petroglyphs, either with a guide or on your own, to see and learn about the ancient carvings and the surrounding prairie.

Guided tours

Daily guided tours include historical and archaeological information along with insight from Native American elders. Tours begin at the rock face with a guide who will locate the petroglyphs or carvings, interpret their possible meanings, and provide information about the people who made them.

The ability to see the carvings depends on the lighting conditions and angle of the sun, which is affected by the time of day, weather, and season. On sunny days, the tour guide may use a mirror and board to help enhance visibility. Tours are not held during thunderstorms.

At the end of the tour, guests can look for more carvings, return to the visitor center, or continue on a half-mile trail that loops through the remnant and restored prairie and ends at the visitor center.

Tours are offered during the regular season (late May through October) on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at:

  • 10:30 am
  • 11:30 am
  • 12:30 pm
  • 1:30 pm
  • 2:30 pm
  • 3:30 pm

Regular season Sunday tours are offered at:

  • 12:30 pm
  • 1:30 pm
  • 2:30 pm
  • 3:30 pm

Please arrive at the site about 30 minutes prior to the time of the tour departure. Tour size is limited to 15 participants. Reservations are recommended. Call 507-628-5591 or email jefferspetroglyphs@mnhs.org.

From November through May, tours are available for groups of 10 or more people with advanced reservation. Call 507-628-5591 or email jefferspetroglyphs@mnhs.org.

Self-guided tours

To view the carvings on your own, stop by the visitor center to borrow a self-guided tour booklet which explains the history and meaning of the ancient carvings.

An Evening Look at the Carvings

Take off your shoes and explore the rock face in the evening when the lighting is best to view the carvings. During this time, visitors will be able to do a self-guided exploration of the petroglyphs and see carvings not visible from the regular path. An extensive conservation project identified an additional 3,000 petroglyphs, which until recently were covered in lichen.

Visitors can explore the rock face any time between 5 and 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays (5 and 8 pm, June 1–August 2) and should be prepared to walk barefoot or in socks on uneven surfaces.

Have a group?

Check out our special offerings and discounted pricing for group tours.