Location: Park in the interpretive center 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 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”.
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 the area. Today there is an incredible five level interpretive center constructed within a hill containing numerous informative displays. The front of the interpretive center hides it’s entirety as it shows only the 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. Incredible views 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 at this exact point. It feels like a natural place 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 seen. 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 that was working in the area, he told me it was his ancestors I felt. I believe him.