Wahkpa Chu'gn Buffalo Jump
Nestled in the shadow of the Bear Paw Mountains
The most extensive and best preserved Native American hunting ground
buffalo bone deposit in the northern Great Plains.
t the western edge of Havre along
U.S. Highway 2 lies the Wahkpa
Chu’gn bison kill site. The site has
been listed among the top 10 tourist attractions in the state.
The entrance to the site is just outside
the back of the Holiday Village Mall.
Wahkpa Chu’gn consists of a cliff and the
surrounding areas that were used starting at
least 2,000 years ago by ancient Indians to
The site now serves as an attraction for
Hi-Line residents and tourists to learn about
the history of Native Americans who lived
in the area.
Archeological deposits up to 20 feet
deep can be seen from five large display
houses on the site. Fire pits, arrowheads
and primitive tools are also on display.
Artifacts that have lost their scientific value
can be touched by curious visitors. The site
offers restroom facilities and a paved trail.
People with disabilities can enlist the help of
a golf cart to tour Wahkpa Chu’gn.
The site is operated by local archeolo
gist John Brumley and his wife, Anna. The
couple offers tours by request year-round
and have regularly scheduled tours and
events during the summer. John Brumley discovered the site when he was a child and
has identified three cultures of prehistoric
Indians that used the bison kill site.
The bison were killed or disabled by
being driven over the bluffs. The Indians employed a spear-throwing weapon called the
atlatl to kill the surviving beasts at the base
of the cliffs. The bison provided a source of
food, clothing, weapons and tools for the
people who killed them. The Indians would
devote several days to harvesting the bison.
On the tour, visitors will see the wonders of ancient life unearthed, learn how
the Indians harvested and used the different
parts of the animals, and receive hands-on
instruction in the ways of the Indians from
2,000 years ago. An atlatl competition
is held at the site, and tourists also get a
chance to try their hand with the weapon.
Fans of the site also have a chance
to become part of the history. A mural is
planned to be erected this summer by Canadian artist Jim Marshall by U.S. Highway
2 on the west edge of town, on the Boothill
People can purchase bricks to be
engraved with names to be part of the wall
that will contain the mural. The bricks —
actually black polished granite tiles — are
available in four prices depending on the
number of characters, with spaces between
words counting as characters:
• $50, 2”x8”, 1 line, 18 characters/line
• $100, 4”x8”, 3 lines, 18 characters/line
• $250, 8”x8”, 4 lines, 18 characters/line
• $500, 8”x16”, 5 lines, 32 characters/line
For more information contact: Anna
Brumley, (406) 265-6417; Lynda Taplin,
(406) 265-7670; Judi Dritshulas, (406)
265-9516; or the H. Earl Clack Museum,
Summer tour hours at Wahkpa Chu’gn
are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days
a week. The cost of admission is $7 for
adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for students.
Group rates are available for 10 or more.
People can call (406) 265-6417 to schedule group tours or off-season tours, weather