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Madison Buffalo Jump State Park, Three Forks

(4.2/5 based on 45+ reviews on the web)
Madison Buffalo Jump State Park is a Montana state park in Gallatin County, Montana in the United States. The park is and sits at an elevation of. The park is named for a canyon cliff used by Native Americans as a buffalo jump, where herds of bison were stampeded over the cliff as an efficient means of slaughter. Madison Buffalo Jump State Park is a day use-only park. It is open year-round for hiking, wildlife observation, and some picnicking.HistoryThe buffalo jump at Madison Buffalo Jump State Park was used by numerous Native American tribes for approximately 2000 years, dating as far back as 500 B.C. and ending around 1750 A.D. The indigenous peoples stampeded the herds of bison off the cliff without the aid of horses or guns. They used the bison for food, clothing, provisions and shelter. The bison were forced into a stampede by young men known as runners. The runners were trained for endurance and speed. The bison were also forced into groups by linear cairns and logs that were placed to funnel the bison into specific locations on areas in behind the cliff face. The introduction of the horse to North America by European explorers and settlers brought about the end of the buffalo jumps. The State park has not changed much over the years; bone shards are still scattered at the base of the cliff and tepee rings still gather around the top.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Very gorgeous view and quiet park. Looks very beautiful in winter. We saw lots of golden eagles there 
  • While the park is about 7 to 10 miles off the Interstate (and part of that is a dirt road), the visit is definitely worth it. Take, at least, the 1/4 mile hike to the viewing area, which has good inte...  more »
  • We are always interested in history related sites, and visited this one thinking we'd actually see a buffalo jump. It's a long drive off the Interstate highway to the park location, especially driving...  more »
Google
  • Great trails beautiful scenes
  • Great place for a hike
  • One outhouse. Gravel road to it as good as gravel gets. Hike to the top wasn't too bad and i'm 59 and smoke. The view was worth it. We walked a path to the left as you face the cliff from the information structure and then up the ridge.