Head-Smashed-In, World's Most Lavish Buffalo Jump

Field review by the editors.

Fort Macleod, Alberta

For thousands of years, Native Americans killed bison by chasing them over the edge of a cliff. In 1987 it was turned into a tourist attraction -- and what an attraction! Canada spent $10 million digging a visitor center into the face of the cliff, and building a trail to the base of the jump where bones are piled over 30 feet deep.

Oddly, "Head-Smashed-In" didn't get its name from the thousands of skull-crushed bison, but from a single nonconformist Indian. He wanted to witness a buffalo jump from the base of the cliff, and wound up flattened under tons of bison meat.

Head-Smashed-In, World's Most Lavish Buffalo Jump

Address:
Hwy 785, Fort Macleod, AB, Canada
Directions:
From Fort MacLeod drive west on Hwy 3 for 2.5 kilometers. Turn north onto Hwy 2 and drive 2.5 kilometers. Turn west onto Hwy 785 and drive 16 kilometers. The entrance sign for Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump will be on the right.
Hours:
Daily 10-5, but closes in bad weather (Call to verify)
Phone:
403-553-2731
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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