Lifestyle & Recreation

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Aboriginal peoples of the Canadian prairies used Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump for over 5,500 years to hunt buffalo.

A buffalo jump is a rock formation that Canada’s First Nations would use to kill plains bison by herding them and driving them over the cliff. Members of the tribe would wait below with spears and bows to finish the job.

Located 18 kilometres northwest of Fort Mcleod, at a place where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains meet the great plains, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is an interpretive centre and museum at the site, built into the ancient sandstone cliff. It has five distinct levels, and tells the story of the ecology of the area, as well as the mythology, lifestyle and technology of the Blackfoot people who used the buffalo jump.

To reach Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump from Calgary, head south on Macleod Trail or Deerfoot Trail to reach Highway 2. Continue south for 160 kilometres, and then follow the signs to head west on Highway 785.


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