I recently helped show off one of our great visitor attractions to several international folks traveling through northcentral Montana.
Our plans were to visit First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park about 15 minutes from Great Falls, MT near the small town of Ulm. When this tour was planned a month ago I wondered what kind of weather we would have. Springtime in Russell Country typically guarantees a variety of weather so I knew we might have some challenges when we climbed the trail up the cliff face of the buffalo jump.
It was someone’s lucky day because the sun was shining, our temp was about 60 degrees and we had just a light breeze and that big blue sky that Montana is famous for.
We began our tour in the small visitor center located at the base of the cliff. Park manager Richard Hopkins gave an overview of the site as we gazed at the buffalo jump through stunning stained glass panels of running buffalo.
Then it was a refreshing climb on the trail that takes you up the cliff face. This is also a great way to see the rocky ledges along the way and when you hear the story of how the jump was used, you appreciate the terrain.
There is also a driving route and parking area with a restroom atop the jump or pishkun so everyone, no matter what mobility level they are, can enjoy this unique area.
Another park interpreter met us on top of the cliff and explained how early Indian tribes used this site before the introduction of horses and firearms.
Besides perfect weather, an interesting history lesson and some exercise, we also had a fun time watching the prairie dogs in their “town”. Then, as if planned, a large herd of antelope was grazing in a nearby field.
I’m counting that day as perfect!