Pipestone, Montana: Mysterious Ringing RocksA big pile of rocks. Hit them with a hammer, and they ring like bells. Warning: bad roads, and watch for bears.
- Rd #2, Pipestone, MT
- Very poorly marked. I-90 exit 241 (Pipestone). Drive east on a gravel road that parallels the freeway for about three-fourths of a mile before turning north at a marker for Road #2. Cross the railroad tracks, and continue north for about four miles on a poorly maintained dirt road. Road is narrow and makes sharp turns. When you reach the rail fence, park, then continue to walk about one-tenth of a mile up unimproved Road #2 until you see the Ringing Rock sign and more rail fences (You can drive this last bit if you have high clearance and four-wheel drive). Bring bear spray, and don't forget your hammer!
Visitor Tips and News About Mysterious Ringing Rocks
I grew up near here and had not heard of this until out visit home this week. My wife learned about it and we thought it would be fun. The road was really good, loose gravel, not dirt, with the exception of a few yards of rough terrain about a mile from the top. We decided to walk, but after the rough part it was in great shape again and we should have just driven to the top in our Honda van. It is cool and unusual. Also, an incredible view from the top. Making your way to the top of the heap, about 100 feet or so is moderately challenging. I made it at 58 years old along with my teen daughters. Don't let the other posts scare you away. Worst case scenario, you take a little hike![Tom M, 08/01/2016]
Attempted to visit this on 10/28/2015. Unfortunately, the road has become severely rutted at about three miles in. Normal vehicles (and Subarus) will not be able to pass. I have a 4wd Trailblazer with 10" clearance and did not feel safe attempting it. If you plan to visit this site, you'd best plan on hiking the two or so miles in. Moderate to challenging difficulty due to the grade. Do not attempt if raining, it was damp when I went and the mud is very slick in this area.[Chris H., 11/06/2015]
For those who hate to walk, the Ringing Rocks in Pennsylvania are a lot easier to visit.
This unique geological formation is approximately 18 miles east of Butte and north of I-90 on BLM land, just beyond the Pipestone trailhead. The rocks in this geologic area chime when tapped with a hammer. Rough road to get there, but worth the time and effort. Bring hammer, snacks, water, and bear spray (just in case). Some walking; hiking shoes are a help.[Chelle, 08/20/2013]
One of the highlights of our cross-country journey. Well worth the adventure to reach the rocks. However, the rock field is remote. Do not attempt to visit if you are not comfortable with winding, steep dirt roads -- off-road-type conditions. Do not go if it is muddy. Watch for bears. When you finally see a "parking area" with a split-rail fence, you may want to park there and walk the last bit up the last hill if your car has low clearance. You will see a large Forest Service sign describing the rocks when you get to them![Fraggle, 09/06/2012]
Do not take trailers! The directions are spot on. This is a long rugged road but well worth the drive. We did not see anyone going to the Ringing Rocks or back out. Make sure you have plenty of gas and supplies in case of emergency. No cell service. You are on your own. All that said, this was probably one of the highlights of our trip, I think mainly because you know how few have visited them. You will not need a hammer -- just use a smaller rock that you can find there. But respect the find and leave the rock.[Kris.L., 03/02/2012]