Independence Rock State Historic Site is on the south side of State Route 220 at the Independence Rock Rest Area. Independence Rock stands 6,028 feet (1,808.3m) above sea level. The tallest point of the rock is 136 feet (40.8m) above the surrounding terrain. If one were to walk around the base of this rock, the distance covered would be more than a mile, or 5,900 feet (1.8km). The mass of Independence Rock is equal to an area of 24.81 acres (9.924 ha). Windblown sand and silt have grooved the rock and polished it to a high gloss in a process called "windfaceting." It is because of this smoother surface that the pioneers were able to easily carve their names into the rock. It was the names carved in stone here that caused Father Peter J. DeSmet to appropriately name this place "The Register of the Desert" in 1840. Register Cliff and Names Hill also contain names left by the pioneers. There is no camping at this site.