Fort Macleod, Alberta

Head Smashed In Jump path at top edge of Jump
This town, about 175 km south of Calgary, with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside, is protected on one side by the Oldman River. Fort Macleod became the first area headquarters for the Northwest Mounted Police (now the “RCMP”) in 1874. The town is named after Colonel James Farquharson Macleod (1836-1894), the commander of the Northwest Mounted Police (the “NWMP”) and later a judge in the supreme court of the North-West Territories.

The “Mounties” were sent to keep American whiskey traders out of Canada, and away from the Indians. While the fort is no longer there, Alberta’s oldest settlement is marked by a cairn on 2nd Ave and 25th St., the center of the town’s historical district.

There are over 30 historical buildings in the downtown core.

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Annual Events

World of Fear Figure 8 Auto racing May to Sept
Canada Day Celebrations July 1
Ranchman’s Rodeo early July Midnight Stadium
Antique Show & Sale early July
Midnight Days end July Main Street
Musical Rides Shows July- August Daily shows feature the RCMP’s famous musical ride
World Indigenous Peoples Day early August
Heritage Fair & Quilt Show early August
Annual Turkey Supper start November This event has been going for near 50 years
Midnight Madness End November Main Street
Yuletide Festival End November Main Street
Santa Clause Parade End November Main Street
Rotary Carole Festival Early Dec
Fort MacLeod - view of Mountains to the west
Fort MacLeod - view of Mountains to the west

Fort Macleod Attractions

Empress Theatre

Fort Macleod's historic Empress Theatre 235 24 St, Fort MacLeod, AB T0L 0Z0
(Main Street)
(403) 553-4404 or 1-800-540-9229

This 1912-era Theatre is the second oldest operating theatre in Canada. In 1985 it was refurbished and now presents summer playhouse productions. Through the rest of the year, it plays first-run movies and host other top-name performers.

Fort Macleod Museum

The actual Fort MacLeod hisgtoric site25th Street and 3rd Ave.
(403) 553-4703

Exhibits show the history of the plains Indians, the mounted police, and the early settlers. The Mounted Patrol Musical Ride is presented at the Fort four times daily in July and August. The museum is open daily May to June and September to October from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and July to August 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Over the winter the hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission fee.

Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump museum display
16 km NW of town on highway 785
(403) 553-2731

This UNESCO World Heritage site shows the buffalo hunting techniques of the Plains Indians, who for over 5,000 years hunted buffalo by stampeding entire herds to their death over sandstone cliffs. Afterwards, the Indians processed their kill at the campsite below the cliffs. The site is named for a young Indian brave who stood under the ledge to watch the buffalo fall past him. As the carcasses piled up, his skull was crushed by the mass of dead buffalo. From May 15 to Labour Day, the site is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the year. Admission fee. Allow 2 hours.

Fort MacLeod - Buffalo Junction Sign -sliver
Fort MacLeod - Buffalo Junction Sign -sliver

Fort Macleod, Alberta Area Map