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Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump UNESCO World Heritage Center

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What to Expect
Visit: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site, 18 Kms North & West of Fort Macleod on Highway 785, Fort Macleod, Alberta T0L 0Z0 Canada

The Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, documents and tells the story of an ancient hunting technique used by Plains People for thousands of years. The Plains Buffalo Runners herded the buffalo through a system of drive lanes then caused the buffalo to stampede over a cliff. A cliff of this nature is known as a Pis’Kun. This Buffalo Jump produced more food in a single moment than any other form of communal hunting anywhere in the world.

Head-Smashed-In was used as a Buffalo Jump for almost 6,000 years and is one of the oldest, largest, and best preserved buffalo jumps on the northwestern plains. This site is older than the Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The interpretive centre was built underground to blend into the natural sandstone cliffs. The centre features 5 levels of exhibits, 80 seat movie theatre, 60 seat cafeteria, and gift shop featuring authentic First Nations arts and crafts.

Located in south western Alberta, Canada, HSIBJ is 90 minutes south of Calgary just west of Highway # 2. The site is open year round.

The site itself is situated on the traditional domain of the Blackfoot speaking people, otherwise known as “Siksikaitsitapiiks”

Today Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is recognized as a premier Indigenous tourism destination in western Canada. This world class interpretive centre is recognized by the Canadian Tourism Commission, Destination Canada as a Signature Experience member.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site, 18 Kms North & West of Fort Macleod on Highway 785, Fort Macleod, Alberta T0L 0Z0 Canada
Departure Time
9:00 AM
Duration
2h
Inclusions
  • Entry/Admission - Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
33Reviews0Q&A
Traveller rating
  • 26
  • 6
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
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  • English
Popular mentions
Although it is quite a drive here from Calgary, it is worth every minute. The entire site is presented in a World Class fashion. The story that is told, both through artifacts and actual story telling is fascinating for young and old alike. Everyone should visit this piece of
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Response from headsmashedinBJ, Public Relations Manager at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump UNESCO World Heritage Center
Responded 1 week ago
Thanks for the great review! we are glad that you had a good experience.
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Without doubt this exhibition is outstanding. The Interactive Centre is about a fifteen minute drive from Highway 2 - we used our SatNav but I think it was signposted. From the outside the main building looks set into the hill side but just follow the signs. It is a bit of
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Response from headsmashedinBJ, Public Relations Manager at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump UNESCO World Heritage Center
Responded 3 weeks ago
Thank you for the great review!!
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Hadn’t been there since 1981, the place is unrecognisable from then. The interpretive centre is amazing, the pictures and art effects are superb. A truly great experience that I would recommend anyone intending to visit Canada/ Alberta should make sure you add it to your places
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Response from headsmashedinBJ, Public Relations Manager at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump UNESCO World Heritage Center
Responded 9 Oct 2019
Thanks for the great review!!
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So interesting to find out about the Buffalo hunt by our Indigenous People. Very well laid out and interactive. A must see when going to Alberta!
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Easy to get to from Calgary, great views of the surrounding area, informative museum. Luckily, I went on one of the days when a dancing performance took place.
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Previous
About the operator
By: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site
739 reviews
Certificate of Excellence
780BobG
Priddis, Canada
2616
HEAD-SMASHED IN BUFFALO JUMP
This site is an exquisitely designed, maintained and is wonderfully informative of the Native culture and
Read more
SchumacherJack
Timmins, Canada
32490
A fascinating story, well told.
Although it is quite a drive here from Calgary, it is worth every minute. The entire site is presented in a World
Read more
R1chardN
Surbiton, United Kingdom
436121
Outstanding
Without doubt this exhibition is outstanding. The Interactive Centre is about a fifteen minute drive from Highway
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Veganguy
Richmond Hill, Canada
563313
Must see
Fabulous history and a plethora of interesting and well presented exhibits in an awesome setting. Very good and
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392billym
119
Fantastic
Hadn’t been there since 1981, the place is unrecognisable from then. The interpretive centre is amazing, the
Read more
G C
Toronto, Canada
246
Most interesting!
So interesting to find out about the Buffalo hunt by our Indigenous People. Very well laid out and interactive.
Read more
Barbara Y
10324
Vacation
Very interesting! Definitely recommend a stop here. It took us 3 hours to tour. We love this type of history and
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millerd400
10
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump
Easy to get to from Calgary, great views of the surrounding area, informative museum. Luckily, I went on one of
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357normas
Corvallis, Oregon
176
Worth the trip
A bit off the beaten path...but, an excellent visitor center. We were there in late afternoon, could have spent a
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CaledoniaFam
Caledonia, Michigan
72
A Worthwhile Visit
We had been to the buffalo jump about 15 years ago, and were glad to visit it again. The best part was the Native
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Elexis_12
Surrey, Canada
213
Fascinating First Nations Historical Centre
Very interesting interpretive centre - it flows very logically from the walk out to the site, then down through
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Alan B
Edmonton, Canada
7419
Wow! What a Gem!
Our visit started off on a bad foot. If coming from Coleman or area, and using Google Maps, be careful NOT to let
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PlayaSunset
Keizer, Oregon
4213
Great Native American History
The building is up a steep hill from the parking area. It would be great exercise to walk but we chose the
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Dawn3847
Traralgon, Australia
51080
Great interpretative centre
The story behind the interpretative centre is very interesting. Our guide and the film depicting how the bison
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JoelK382
Vancouver, Canada
2319446
Fabulous site and Museum to Learn
The site is phenomenal. The museum is quite educational and the film depicting the buffalo jump is captivating.
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