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Palisades State Park facts for kids

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Not to be confused with Palisade State Park, a state park in Utah.
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Palisades State Park
King and Queen Rock.jpg
King and Queen Rock in Palisades State Park
Location Minnehaha, South Dakota, United States
Area 157 acres (64 ha)
Governing body South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks

Palisades State Park is a state park of South Dakota, USA, featuring cliffs and rock formations eroded out of pink Sioux Quartzite. The park is located just south of Garretson, 10 miles (16 km) off Interstate 90. At only 157 acres (64 ha), it is South Dakota's second-smallest state park.

Natural history

The Sioux Quartzite rocks are 1.2 billion years old and up to 50 feet (15 m) high. They are exposed on either side of Split Rock Creek, which also flows through Split Rock Creek State Park in Minnesota. Within the quartzite are deposits of catlinite, a softer mineral essential to many Native American groups to make ceremonial pipes. The park lies on the Coteau des Prairies, a plateau on the northern Great Plains.

Cultural history

Pioneers settled in the area beginning in 1865. In the 1870s Split Rock Creek was harnessed to power a large flour and feed mill, and a town called Palisades formed around it. Silver was discovered shortly downstream in 1886, prompting a short-lived silver rush but the ore was found to be low quality. Three years later Garretson became a railroad junction and most of Palisades relocated to the north. A steel truss bridge built over Split Rock Creek in 1908 is on the National Register of Historic Places.


Palisades State Park has a campground with 37 sites, 6 camper cabins, and a group tenting area. There is also a 4-bedroom lodge which can be reserved for private events. Four hiking trails wind through the park. Rock climbing is permitted on the quartzite formations, though the use of bolts is prohibited.

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