Fort Macleod Travel Guide

  • In Fort Macleod Country!
    In Fort Macleod Country!
    by spidermiss
  • Low cliff (& footpath) over which the herd plunged
    Low cliff (& footpath) over which the...
    by Bwana_Brown
  • Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump
    Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump
    by 807Wheaton

Fort Macleod Highlights

  • Pro
    jojocan profile photo

    jojocan says…

     very pretty 

  • Con
    jojocan profile photo

    jojocan says…

     one way streets 

  • In a nutshell
    Bwana_Brown profile photo

    Bwana_Brown says…

     A unique site with very well presented artifacts and history of the early culture of native American life on the Prairies 

Fort Macleod Things to Do

  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump...

    This centre is an UNESCO World Heritage Site (1981) which features Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a prehistoric custom that was practiced by the aboriginals in the area nearly 6000 years and explores why this hunting custom was carried out through their knowledge of bison behaviour. I enjoyed looking around the centre and getting to know more about...

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  • The Killing Ground

    The actual 'hunt' at HSIBJ required the efforts of the whole community to achieve a successful result. The terrain here was ideal for achieving a mass stampede of the Buffalo, starting from a bowl-shaped area on the ground above the cliffs. The herd was coaxed into position by using long rows of stone cairns stretching for many miles, and enhanced...

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  • The Interpretive Centre

    An excellent highway leads to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, with ample parking at the foot of the cliffs. The modern interpretive centre, opened in 1987, is entered at the foot of the cliffs and costs C$9 per adult (US$8). Although the centre looks from the outside like a World War II concrete coastal gun emplacement, it is unobtrusive to the...

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  • The Buffalo Once Roamed Freely

    When Europeans first arrived on the western plains of North America, the herds of buffalo (or American Bison) were so huge that they stretched for as far as the eye could see. The number of animals is estimated to have been more than 60 million and herds roamed all of central North America from the Rockies to Pennsylvania. For thousands of years,...

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  • Prairie Meets Mountains

    Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is located in an area where the gently rolling Prairies suddenly rise up into the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This view shows the small hills in the foreground, due to soil deposited from glacial moraines following the melting of the large ice sheets thousands of years ago. In the background are the beginnings...

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  • Essential to Native Americans

    The Buffalo provided native Americans with just about everything they needed to survive life on the Prairies, in both winter and summer. This included buffalo skins used to cover the poles of their tipis, skins and furs for clothing, boiled and dried meat for food, bones for tools and dishes as well as cememonial artifacts used by the chiefs and...

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  • If you are scared of heights...

    Don't go up the towers at the museum in Ft. Macleod if you are scared of heights! You can walk all around the fence surrounding the museum on the catwalks built a long time ago. And yes, they sweak, and its scary. But worth it! You can see the river, the town, and the museum from up there.

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  • If you like history...

    When we visited the museum in Ft. Macleod, there were no other people there, which was great. It meant we got to explore the museum and exhibts more closely. We also went behind the rope to get a first hand view. I wouldn't recomend that if there are people around the catch you, as its a big no-no!

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  • A little taste of history

    The NWMP (North West Mounted Police) Museum in Ft. Macleod is great. It was cheap to visit ($11 for 3 adults), had some great things in the gift shop ($0.35 per postcard!), and was fun. Because it really is the off season in May, we didn't see anyone else there. You get to go into the buildings, up in the towers, and walk around the grounds. They...

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Fort Macleod Local Customs

  • jojocan's Profile Photo

    by jojocan Written May 16, 2005

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not being from the south, I had never realized what a problem gophers could be, especially when they are on a baseball diamond.

    Here in Fort Macleod, they take drastic measures to insure the safety of all baseball players!

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Fort Macleod Favorites

  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    by RACCOON1 Updated May 15, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: A 30 to 45 minute drive NW of Fort MacLeod is a UNESCO World Heritage Site . " Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump". For as far back as 4000 BC aboriginals were using this precipice as a means of killing buffalo . When buffalo were in this region and it seems that was not always guaranteed the
    aboriginals devised means of herding the buffalo over the cliffs to their death . The aboriginals then basically harvested the crop . There is a visitor centre which does a good job of showing how the process worked. They have a small but basic restaurant.

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