Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Canada


Panoramic view of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Panoramic view of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Author: Ken Thomas (public domain)





Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump is the site in Canada where prehistoric native Americans hunted buffaloes. The animals were chased over the precipice where they fell to their death, and their carcasses were later brought back to camp. The site still holds vast quantities of ancient buffalo skeletons dating back as much as 6000 years.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is located in the prairie, about 18 km northwest of Fort Macleod, in the province of Alberta. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 5th session of the World Heritage Committee which met in Sydney, Australia, on 26-30 October, 1981.

Photos of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Author: UM (public domain)

What to See in Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

The practise of herding buffaloes to their death has been carried out by the native people for 5,500 years. At Head-Smashed-In, this was carried out by the Blackfoot tribe. The beasts were driven from the grazing ground at Porcupine Hill, over a distance of 3 kilometers, to a cliff that is 300 meters long, and 10 meters in height from the valley below. The site was known in the Blackfoot language as Estipah-skikikini-kots.

Today visitors to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump can visit the Interpretive Center, which is built into the sandstone cliff. The five-level centre provides an indepth interpretation to the ecology, mythology, lifestyle and technology of the Blackfoot tribe. While there, visit also the Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 49 44 58 W 113 37 26 in the Province of Alberta, Canada
Inscription Year: 1981
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: VI

Location Map


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Visiting Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

You have to get in by car. The main town is Fort Macleod in southern Alberta. Your approach is through Highway 3 from the southwest and northeast, or Highway 2 from the northwest and southeast.


Local Tours of Canada

It is often cheaper and more practical to join a local tour of, if you are looking for a specific travel experience. Here are some local tours of Canada that you may want to include to your itinerary. These tours are arranged by Viator, one of the most reputable tour agencies in the market.

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