Alberta - Head-Smashed-In

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

This site was used for millennia in a traditional buffalo hunt. The local Blackfoot tribe would send runners out to stir up buffalo herds and run them into lanes of closely spaced rock cairns set up to run for several kilometres straight off this cliff. The runners had to keep the animals going in the lanes the whole way, then break off at the last moment. Once the animals did the hard part, others would come to dress the carcasses and take the essential meat and hides. There are various exhibits to explain all of this if you visit, so I'll just present the scenery.

Starting from the entrance road, photos progress north-northeast along the bluffs with the walking trail.

The cliffs are not formidable, but they are tall enough to do the job.

Natural rocks resembling cairns. Do not attempt to run between them.

A buffalo's-eye view of the prairie, the last thing it sees.

The view east from the top of the cliff features the Oldman River and a plethora of windmills.

The view south is the best, featuring the Canadian Rockies from left to right.

Assorted closeups of some of the more photogenic peaks.

See more along Highway 785

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