A short, 10-minute drive from Great Falls, the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park is a furrific place to learn about Native American culture and Montana history! Originally called the Ulm Pishkun State Park, this 1,500-acre archaeological site makes for a fun and educational excursion for the entire family, including four-legged members.
The First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park is home to possibly the largest buffalo jump or “pishkun” in North America. Scattered throughout Montana, buffalo jumps were utilized by native peoples to hunt bison by driving them over cliffs. The First Peoples jump site consists of a mile-long sandstone cliff, and up to 18 feet of compacted buffalo remains below. This particular site was used for at least a thousand years before Lewis and Clark passed through the area. In addition to its historical significance, the jump offers pawsome, panoramic vistas of the Missouri River Valley, the Rocky Mountain Front, buttes, and grasslands.
To reach the top of the jump, you and Fido may hike the 3-mile trail or drive straight to the top. The path is easy, well-marked, and dotted with benches, but beware of rattlesnakes along the way. Black-tailed prairie dogs also reside in the park, and you'll find a prairie dog town at the top of the cliff. Keep in mind that there is no shade on the trail, so you might want to visit early in the morning to keep Fido's paws from getting too hot. Plan and prepare accordingly so that you and your pooch can enjoy the puptacular views as you make your way up to the jump!
Remember to keep your furry buddy on a leash and clean up after them. You'll find mutt mitts and drinking water on-site, but it's always a good idea to bring your own. Montana residents get to enter the park for free, while out-of-state visitors must pay a daily entrance fee of $4 per walk-in guest or $6 per vehicle. Get ready for an unfurgettable experience with your doggo at the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park!