Sacred Sites: Places of Peace and Power
White Sands, New Mexico
White Sands, New Mexico, USA

Based on current archaeological findings it is certain that human beings have been coming to the Western Hemisphere for at least 40,000 years. There were three methods of travel that were used: 1) In small sea-going craft closely skirting both the Pacific and Atlantic coast lines (from Alaska all the way to the far reaches of southern South America, and from northern Europe all the way to Brazil); 2) By land (over the so-called Bering land bridge and through various ice-free corridors on the enormous ice sheet covering what is now Canada); and 3) Presumably by larger ocean-crossing craft from different locations in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Representing an assemblage of different peoples and cultures over more than forty millennia, there would have been a great diversity of shamanic and religious practices wherever people settled. While, generally speaking, it is true that the further back in time we go the less we know about such matters, the following list gives the locations of those places that were considered sacred sites in the region of the United States.

Sacred Sites of the United States

Alaska
  • Mt. McKinley (Denali)
  • Mt. St. Elias: Sacred mountain of Yakutat Tlingit Indians
Arizona
  • Mount Graham: Dzil Nchaa Si, Apache sacred mountain
  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
  • I’ito (Montezuma’s Head) & ‘Oks Daha (Old Woman Sitting)
  • Mt. Humphreys: Doko O Sliid, Navaho sacred mountain of the west
  • Canyon de Chelly: Navaho sacred site
  • Mt. Baboquivari: Tohono O’odham sacred mountain
  • Meteor Crater
  • Black Mesa
  • Superstition Mountains
  • Zuni Lake: Sacred to Zuni, Acoma, Laguna, Hopi and Taos Indians
California
  • Mt. Shasta
  • Mt Tamalpais
  • Mt. Diablo
  • Mt. San Jacinto: Sacred mountain of Cahuilla Indians
  • Mt. Lassen
  • Joshua Tree
  • Tecate Peak
  • Soldier mountain: Simolaki mountain, Sacred to Ajumawi Indians
  • Conception Point: Chumash sacred site
Colorado
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Cave of the Winds
  • Great Sand Dunes
  • Blanca Peak: Sisnajini, Navajo sacred mountain of the east
  • Spanish Peaks
  • Mt. Hesperus: Dibe’ Nitsaa, Navajo sacred mountain of the north
  • Island Lake
Florida
  • Crystal River Mounds
  • Panther Mound
  • Mount Royal Mounds
  • Lake Jackson Mounds
Georgia
  • Stone Mountain         
  • Ocmulgee Park
  • Etowah Mounds
Hawaii
  • Mt. Haleakala, Maui
  • Mauna Kea, Hawaii
  • Piilanihale Heiau temple, Maui
  • Moku’ula, Maui
  • Iao Valley, Maui
  • Mo’ okini Luakini Heiau, Hawaii
  • Pu’ uhonua O Honaunau, Hawaii
  • Mt. Kilauea, Hawaii: Birthplace of Pele, goddess of volcanoes
  • Kaulu Paoa Heiau, Kauia Island
Idaho
  • Nez Perce Historical National Park
Illinois
  • Monks mound
  • Kincaid mounds
Indiana
  • Mounds State Park
  • Angel mounds
Iowa
  • Effigy mounds
Louisiana
  • Poverty Point mounds
  • Tchefuncte mounds
  • Marksville mounds
Maine
  • Mt. Katahdin: Sacred mountain of Penobscot Indians
Michigan
  • Michigan mounds
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes
Minnesota
  • Pipestone Quarry: Sacred to the Dakota, Lakota, and other tribes of Native Americans
  • Jeffers Petroglyph site
Mississippi
  • Emerald mound, Tupelo
Montana
  • Medicine Tree site, Ravalli County
  • Chief Mountain: Mt. Ninaistakis, sacred mountain of Blackfeet Indians
  • Giant Springs, Great Falls
  • Sweetgrass hills
Nebraska
  • Pahuk Pawnee: Sacred to Pawnee Indians
Nevada
  • Cave Rock
  • Spirit Mountain (Newberry Peak): Yuman sacred mountain
New Hampshire
  • Mt. Washington
  • Mystery Hill, Salem
New Mexico
  • Mt. Taylor: Tsoodził, Sacred mountain of Navaho of south, Acoma, Laguna and Zuni people
  • Chaco Canyon
  • White Sands
  • Chimayo
  • Ute Mountain
  • Shiprock: Navaho sacred site (off limits to climbers)
  • Mt. Huerfano: Dzil Na'oodilii, Navaho sacred mountain of the center
  • Governador Knob: Ch'oolii, Navaho sacred mountain east of center
  • Truchas Peaks: Ku Sehn Pin, Tewa sacred mountain
  • Chicoma Mountain: Sacred to Pueblo Indians
  • Mt. Conjilon: Tse Shu Pin, Tewa sacred mountain
  • Mt. Capitan: Mescalero Apache sacred mountain
  • Mt. San Augustin: Mescalero Apache sacred mountain
  • Mt. Salinas: Mescalero Apache sacred mountain
  • Hosta Butte (Ak’i Dah Nast’ani)
  • Bandelier National Monument: Stone Lion shrines of Yapashi, near Running Eagle Falls
  • Petroglyphs National Monument
  • Sandia Crest: Oku Pin, Tewa sacred mountain
New York
  • Mt. Marcy
  • Balanced Rock
  • Auriesville: Shrine of Birthplace of Kateria Tekakwitha
  • Fonda: Shrine of Illumination of Kateria Tekakwitha
North Carolina
  • Mt. Richland-Balsam
  • Pilot Mountain
Ohio
  • Serpent Mound
Oklahoma
  • Antelope and Buffalo springs, Arbuckle mountains
  • Spiro Mounds State Park
Oregon
  • Wallowa Lake
  • Wizard Island, Crater Lake
  • Mt. Hood
South Dakota
  • Harney Peak
  • Wind cave
  • Craven Canyon
  • Mt. Inyan Kara: Sacred mountain of Cheyenne and Sioux Lakota Indians
  • Bear Butte (Noaha-vose): Sacred mountain of Cheyenne and Sioux Lakota Indians
  • Bad Lands
  • Old Baldy
Texas
  • Enchanted Rock: Sacred to Tonkawa, Apache and Comanche Indians
  • Guadalupe Peak: Mescalero Apache sacred mountain
Utah
  • Hovenweep ruins
  • Mt. Zion
Washington
  • Mount Adams
  • Snoqualmie Falls
  • Mt. Ranier (Tacoma)
West Virginia
  • Moundsville
Wisconsin
  • Aztalan Mound
  • Blue Mound
Wyoming
  • Devil’s Tower: Sacred to Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lakota, and Shoshone Indians
  • Big Horn Medicine Wheel

Ancient Astronomers of the Mississippi Valley
Ancient Astronomers of the Mississippi Valley (Image from The Ancient Earthworks Project)