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Top Wild-West Destinations in MT

Much of the allure of vacationing out West is getting a glimpse of the ghost towns, gold mines, and other destinations that once comprised the Wild West. This thriving, lawless land of massive mountains, great canyons, and expansive plains speaks to the adventurer in all of us. Montana is no exception. Once filled with Native American tribes and pioneer families, this western state still carries an undeniable allure. If you’re flying into MT to explore, Journey Rent-A-Car has several car rentals and van rentals that will transport you to all of your top destinations. And they’re much more comfortable than a covered wagon.

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

To see a site that was important to many Native American tribes, drive your car rental to First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park near Great Falls, Montana. This buffalo jump was so important because the Plains Indians relied on bison to survive. Bison provided tools, food, clothing, and even some materials they needed to make weapons. However, these large, aggressive animals were sometimes difficult to hunt, especially since most of the Plains tribes didn’t have horses. When they needed to kill several buffalo at once, they would utilize buffalo jumps. Buffalo jumps were cliffs that were typically 30–50 feet high. The Native Americans would herd the buffalo to the top of the cliffs and then scare them, starting a stampede over the cliff. The buffalo would plummet over the top, where the rest of the tribe waited to kill those that didn’t die after landing. Legends tell of brave “buffalo runners” who would dress in a buffalo robe and jump over the cliff first, setting the precedent for the stampeding buffalo. These runners would save themselves by landing on hidden ledges just under the cliff.

Interesting Statistics

One of the biggest jumps in North America, the cliffs of First Peoples Buffalo Jump stretch one mile long and reach between 30–50 feet high. Archeologists have found a bone bed underneath the cliff that is up to 18 feet deep, which means approximately 6,000 buffalo died there. While we can’t be sure exactly when the jump was first used, sources estimate that the Native Americans used it at least 1,000–2,000 years before Lewis and Clark discovered it. Bring your family to visit this amazing piece of history. This 1,484-acre park has an amazing visitor center with several programs and exhibits that educate families on the culture, history, and traditions of the Native Americans. Moreover, you can also enjoy hiking, bow hunting, and many other outdoor activities. If you need to rent a car in Montana, Journey Rent-A-Car is the best place to go. Located in Bozeman, we offer amazing prices — as well as free pickup and delivery with any airport car rental. Make a reservation online or contact us at 406-551-2277.