First People’s Buffalo Jump

My mom will outlive us all. She and her service dog walk all over town. To yoga, to classes, to the grocery store. Wherever she needs to go, they walk. They might take a bus in the winter when it’s really cold, but only if it’s really cold. So when she visits, she requires walks.

Mom and Kaiah

The First People’s Buffalo Jump is just down the road from me, so on her last visit we decided to walk the lower loop. I’m almost ashamed to admit I hadn’t actually been to the lower part of the park before. I’ve driven to the top, looked around, even shot some Milky Way shots from the entrance to the upper area. I was looking forward to hiking the lower loop.

Milky Way over Central Montana

I am not in the same shape as my mom. Neither is my dog. So when we realized the trail starts off uphill, we were questioning our life choices. But it wasn’t bad. It was actually an awesome little hike. I had the camera out, hoping to get a shot of a rattlesnake, but we saw none. The second half (the downhill part,) makes for a nice leisurely stroll.

It’s a fun loop hike

My only advice would be to bring water, and watch for snakes. We may not have seen any, but it’s perfect terrain for rattlers. From a distance, they’re beautiful creatures. Just don’t try to pet them.

Heading West on the loop trail, Square Butte in the distance

If you’re feeling froggy, walk all the way up to the top and check out the prairie dog town. If you’re not feeling froggy, just drive around to the top of the park via Ulm Vaughn Road and check out the prairie dog town that way.

If you’re visiting in the winter, pay attention to the winter hours. Sometimes the upper area gate is closed in the winter–it depends on how much snow they get.

There’s a visitor center at the bottom, and a bathroom up on top. The park is open every day in the summer from 8am to 6pm, and 10am to 4pm Monday through Saturday, 12pm to 4pm Sunday in the winter. It’s definitely worth the short drive from Great Falls.

More photos will be added to the project page as I take them.

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