Alberta's Provincial Historic Sites, Interpretive Centres and Museums
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

About Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site’s interpretive center is built right into the cliff so disturbance to the spectacular landscape is minimized. The building houses five levels of exhibits, the Buffalo Jump Café, Gift Shop and a rentable meeting space, the Joe Crow Shoe Sr. Lodge.

Learn more below about:

Exhibits

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump has both indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Inside, you will discover five levels of exhibits that explore: buffalo hunting culture, the art of driving the great herds from the cliff, the eventual demise of the buffalo hunting culture, and the work of archaeologists at Head-Smashed-In. Our theatre plays a re-enactment of the hunt throughout the day.

From the top of our building you can venture outside along a paved trail that leads you to spectacular views of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Cliff, Calderwood Buffalo Jump & Vision Quest Hill to the north, the great prairies to the east and the Rocky Mountains to the south.

We also offer a short interpretive hike beneath the cliff and through the camp and processing areas. For extra information, see our admissions desk to pick up your copy of our Lower Trail Guide. This wilderness hike is not suitable for strollers or persons with mobility issues.

Gift Shop

The Head-Smashed-In Gift Shop focuses on providing visitors with a wide assortment of unique souvenirs. We stock everything from post cards and t-shirts to goods exquisitely hand crafted by local Fist Nations artisans.

We accept Visa, Master Card, Debit, Canadian Cash and American Cash (exchange rates variable). Contact HSIBJ.GiftShop@gov.ab.ca with questions or to become one of our local Blackfoot Artisans.

Joe Crow Shoe Sr. Lodge

The room is dedicated to the memory of Joe Crow Shoe Sr. - Aapohsoy’yiis (Weasel Tail), who played a vital role in the development of Head-Smashed-In World Heritage Site. He dedicated his life to bringing cultures together. His wisdom and vision helped make Head-Smashed-In a place of understanding, tolerance and celebration. As well, you can book this room for your meeting.

 

Buffalo Jump Cafe

Buffalo Jump Cafe

Open April 10 to October 1
Open Daily (hot grill closes at 4 p.m.)

Our 60 seat café is open for the summer season. Your host Dale McEvoy and her crew are pleased to offer you choices in native-themed fare, including buffalo stew, buffalo burgers and buffalo chilli. Buffalo is a very healthy choice for anyone on a low fat high protein diet because it has a maximum 5% fat content. It tastes like lean range-fed beef. Specials change daily. Traditional lunch bar fare includes burgers & fries or soup & sandwich. In a hurry? You will find healthy snacks and sandwiches in the self-serve cooler. The café stocks a large assortment of cold soft drinks and treats.

Bus Tour Operator

Bus tour groups can arrange for many special catered meal options that are not on the regular menu. Menu options can be emailed to you on request. Make sure to book early to reserve your group! See the menu for pre-booked tours.

To arrange for special group meals at a group rate, please contact Dale McEvoy by email or 780-720-8037. You can also call the café directly at 403-553-0388.

School and Youth Groups

School and youth groups may be interested in pre-ordering bag and hot lunches.

Restaurants in the Area

Bus Tours can also make arrangements for very large groups at restaurants in Fort Macleod, Claresholm or Pincher Creek. Please see the link below for a complete list of restaurants in the area, along with notations for those that can accommodate large bus tour groups.

History and Archaeology

Interested in learning more about the local First Nations People and the history of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump?

Blackfoot History

What is Archaeology?

Archaeology at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Buffalo Tracks (PDF 1.2 MB)
A short introduction to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, including educational and scientific information about:

  • Why Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a World Heritage Site
  • Ethnography, Ethnology and Archaeology
  • Anatomy of the Jump
  • Plains Bison
  • Hunting techniques
  • The Plains People of Southern Alberta
  • Plant and animal resources

Imagining Head-Smashed-In by Jack Brink
Archaeologist Jack Brink has studied Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump for more than 25 years. His book covers over 9000 years of life at Head-Smashed-In, from the first evidence of people in the area through design and construction of our building.


Last reviewed/revised: April 6, 2017