At the top of the CliffsHead Smashed In Buffalo Jump
is the name given to this ancient buffalo hunting site in the Porcupine Hills, Southern Alberta. Located 18 km north & west of Fort Macleod this is a very powerful place to the Plains Indians. A World Heritage site, Head Smashed In, is world reknowned for studying hunting practices by native people of the North American plains.
For nearly 6000 years prehistoric people and later the plains Indians understanding of bison behavior, allowed the killing of buffalo by chasing or herding them over the nearby cliffs and subsequent carving up the carcasses in the camp below. The buffalo's poor eyesight contributed to this. The hunters would cover themselves in wolf skins and crawl near near the grazing herd. They would then startle the buffalo into stampeding in the direction of the drop off. Horses would also be used. Once the herd was on the move there was no stopping it.
For hundreds of years buffalo bones littered the landscape. At the turn of the century the site began to be plundered of bones and artifacts. An excellent interpretation centre houses some of these relics. At one point many of the bones were lost as they were mined for the making of munitions for the First World War. It is now illegal to remove anything from the area.
In 1981, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the jump as a World Heritage Site.
From Calgary the the Deerfoot (route 2) south towards Fort Macleod. Follow the well signed exit (Highway 785 West) west to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump in the Procupine Hills. If you reach highway 3 you have gone too far and will have to retrace tor route a bit. Park in the lot below the centre. There is a shuttle to take you up the hill should you need this.
Red tape and inquiries
The Tipi at Head Smashed In.
For more information contact:
Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump
Box 1977, Fort Macleod, Alberta
Canada T0L 0Z0
Toll free in Alberta phone 310-0000
(and ask for Head-Smashed-In 553-2731)
Hours of operation: Open 7 days per week
Winter hours (Sep 15 - May 14): 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (1000 to 1700)
Summer hours (May 15 - Sep 14): 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (0900 to 1800)
Closed: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day and Easter Sunday.
Youth 7-17: $5.00
Under 7: Free
All prices include the Goods and Services Tax.
Group discounts are available for pre-booked tours of 15 people or more.
To book tours directly, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camping and Hotel accomodation
You can stay near the site in Tipis
Contact: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
Phone 403-553-2731 and ask for Tipi Camp Bookings or email email@example.com
Buffalo Plains RV Park & Camping
A. Highway 785
T. (403) 553-2592
Daisy May Campground
A. Lyndon Road
T. (403) 553-2455
Fish and Game Park
A. Lyndon Road
T. (403) 553-3289
John Zoeteman Park
A. Highway 811
Oldman River Prov.Rec.Area
A. Junction Highway 2 & 3
River's Edge RV Park & Campground
A. Highway 2
T. (403) 553-0334
Motels and Hotels
Century II Motel
14 AC Units, Telephones, Cable TV, Coach Parking, Some Non-Smoking Rooms, Modem Jacks, Microwaves, Group Rates, Fresh Coffee from 8 am, Pets at Managers discretion
Phone: (403) 553-3331
Fax: (403) 553-2221
15 AC Units, Some Non-Smoking Units, Cable & Satellite TV w/Movie Channel, Telephones, Modem Jacks, Pets at Managers Discretion, Group Rates
Phone: (403) 553-4011
14 units, Cable TV, Coach Parking, Copy/Fax Service, Fridges, Group Rates, Laundry, Microwave, Satellite TV, Movie Channel, Vehicle Plug-ins
Phone: (403) 553-3115
Fax: (403) 553-3119
Heritage House Motel
12 Units, Cable TV, Coach Parking, Copy/Fax Service, Fridges, Group Rates, No Phones in Rooms, Pets at Managers Discretion, Vehicle Plug-ins
Phone: (403) 553-2777
Fax: (403) 553-3199
Red Coat Inn
28 AC Units, Newly Renovated, Swimming Pool, Coach Parking, Cable TV w/Remote, Movie Channel, Fridges, Group Rates, Telephones, Modem Jacks, Pets at Managers Dscretion
Toll Free: 1-800-423-4434
22 AC Units, All Units Have Refrigerators, Telephones, Fax Ready, Remote Cable TV & Movie Channel, Complimentary Coffee
Toll Free: 1-888-554-2784
Deirdre Coma & Jerry Roberts
1623 - 3rd Ave., Box 2131 Fort Macleod, AB. TOL OZO
Phone/Fax: (403) 553-3302
Bent Creek Western Vacations
Kathy & Gerry Karchuk, PO Box 542, Fort Macleod, AB. T0L 0Z0
Toll Free: 1-866-553-3781
Phil & Diana Wakelin
Phone 403-553-0211 Cel 403-360-1266