Bison knowledge

Inside the First Peoples Buffalo Jump visitor center people can learn more about bison and the native people that perfected hunting them on the vast Great Plains.

The Montana State Parks Foundation is publishing a weekly showcase of Montana State Parks' 55 properties. 

Located just outside of Ulm, the 2,000-acre First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park is one of the largest buffalo jumps in the United States and is known in the archaeology community as the most significant buffalo jump in the world.

The Ulm Pishkin, as the park is sometimes referred to, was used by Native American’s for hundreds of years. You can still find the gathering basin where bison would bunch up before being forced off of the one-mile long sandstone cliff. At the base of the cliff, 18 feet of compacted buffalo remains have been found, but it can be difficult to make out distinct items like skulls or other bones after so many years.

Did you know?

Remnants of the drive lines used to force buffalo off the cliff can still be seen today.

The cliff isn’t incredibly high as too much height would have crushed the buffalo flesh leaving it unusable.

A 6,000 square foot Visitor Center helps to pay homage to the buffalo and the Native Americans who honor it. Inside you’ll find buffalo culture exhibits, a circle for storytelling, a classroom, gallery and a bookstore. Outside the Visitor Center are an outdoor amphitheater, a few traditional games playing fields, and trails leading to the cliffs above.

The Montana State Parks Foundation helps fund work at parks, for more information log on to www.montanastateparksfoundation.org.

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