This remarkable testament to the native peoples of the North American plains was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1981.
This was after archaeological evidence showed that the site was used repeatedly for traditional buffalo hunts for nearly 6,000 years.
The plains people would dress as wolves or foxes and spend days carefully herding the buffalo, finally stampeding them over a ten metre high cliff. This age-old practice was stopped almost overnight in the 19th century when horses were introduced, making it easy for individuals to hunt without involving the entire tribe.
The site’s name doesn’t quite mean what you might expect. It comes from the tale of a brave who waited below the cliff to get a different view of the buffalos as they flew into the air: not, in retrospect, such a good idea.
While in the area it is also worth visiting Fort Macleod, a historic outpost of the North West Mounted Police who were despatched in 1874 to bring order to the west.
Map of Head Smashed-in Buffalo Jump
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Head Smashed-in Buffalo Jump
- Claresholm 36 kilometers away
- Waterton Lakes National Park 77 kilometers away
- Fernie 104 kilometers away
- Calgary 153 kilometers away
- Writing-on-Stone Provinical Park 163 kilometers away
- The Purcell Mountains 187 kilometers away
- Dinosaur Provincial Park 195 kilometers away
- Canmore 196 kilometers away
- Banff 214 kilometers away
- The Kootenays 220 kilometers away
- Lake Louise 262 kilometers away
- Yoho National Park 270 kilometers away
- Field 276 kilometers away
- Kyle 419 kilometers away
- Edmonton 427 kilometers away
- Naramata & Okanagan Valley 429 kilometers away
- Jasper 469 kilometers away