Albertawow

Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump

  Ratings:    Ratings 5 Star
Level: Easy Time/Dist: 1 to 2 hours / 3K return Elevation Gain: 120m

Location: Park in the interpretive centre parking lot 18kms west of Fort McLeod Alberta.

Description: Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Several hundred years ago the Blackfoot Native Indians used the cliffs located here for killing the Buffalo they depended on for their survival. This was done by herding and stampeding Buffalo over the cliffs, hence the name "Head Smashed In". The 1st Nations Blackfoot Indians have a profound attachment to this area. Their Native history goes back several thousand years according to the archaeological artifacts found in this area. Today there is an incredible five level interpretive center constructed inside a hill with informative displays. The front of the interpretive centre hides it's size as it shows only as an entrance. The full five levels inside the hill lead to the top where the buffalo jump cliffs are located. Views above the cliffs are outstanding. One can see west towards the Rocky Mountains, east towards the prairies, south towards gently rolling foothills and the Oldman River. Once here you can see why the Blackfoot Natives and local wildlife congregated here. This area looks and feels like a natural point of gathering for all life. The estimated 60 million Buffalo that roamed the great plains are no longer here but the deer, elk, antelope, and birds of prey can still be found here. It is well worth the effort to hike higher up to the top of the hill above the cliffs and also take in the trails located below the cliffs. The energy here is strong. I mentioned this to a very proud and knowledgeable Native Blackfoot Indian that was working in the area, he told me it was his ancestors I felt. I believe him.

As you drive towards the site you will see large quartzite boulders that were left after the melt of the glacial ice age. These large rocks can be found sparsely scattered all the way to the Saskatchewan border called glacial erratic's. They were carried by glaciers several 100kms from the Mount Edith Cavell area near Jasper. These glacial erratic's were used by the natives for navigating on the prairies. It was humbling to stop and sit upon one of these rocks. I'm sure countless numbers of Buffalo used the rock I sat upon as a scratching post and several people over thousands of years had travelled past it or sat on it like I did. I'm also sure that their previous lives were much more interesting then mine. Tipi camping is also available here. The campground Writing On Stone Provincial Park is another 1st Nations historical site located 138kms east of here.

Near Here: Local campgrounds include Pine Coulee and Waterton National Park.

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Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Interpretive Centre Entrance Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Cliffs Rocky Mountains In Background
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
UNESCO Designation  
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Tipi Camping  
   
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
  Blackfoot Indian Tipi's
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Interpretive Centre Excavation Sample Site Interpretive Centre Archaeological Items
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
  Buffalo Skeleton
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
  Buffalo Skulls
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Buffalo  
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Theatre  
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
  Decorated Buffalo skull
   
 
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Tipi Display  
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Top Of interpretive Centre Tipi Camping
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Path Along Top Of Cliffs Lookout Located Near Buffalo Jump
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Buffalo Jump Cliffs  
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Trail Below Buffalo Jump Cliffs  
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta

Prairie Falcons

 

   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
 Glacial Erratic  
   
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Alberta
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