DATES OPEN: During the summer from the second week of June through the second week of August
HOURS: 9 AM to 5 PM
FACILITIES: Pit toilets
ADMISSION: No fee, but donations are welcome
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: No
LOCATION: Halfway between Sundance, Wyoming and Spearfish, South Dakota from Sundance, head east on I-90. Take Exit 199 and turn left. Travel under the interstate and turn right onto the next access road (formerly Hwy. 14); continue three miles to the site, located just south of the access road.
Vore Bison Jump
Five hundred years ago, Native American tribes began driving bison into a natural sinkhole bordering the northern Great Plains and the Black Hills—the perfect trap for acquiring large amounts of meat and hides for survival. Today, we know of this sinkhole as the Vore site, where archaeologists estimate that more than 20,000 bison were killed over a period of 300 years. The Vore site is known for its massive quantities of bison bone and stone artifacts, which have been remarkably preserved in discrete layers. The sinkhole contains hundreds of layers of sediment, known as varves, which have washed into the depression annually. Scientists can count varves like tree rings and combine this information with other methods of dating to estimate when each bison jump occurred. Stop by the Vore site during the summer months to participate in the interpretive program. Guides are available to answer questions and take visitors around the site. If you drop in during one of the University of Wyoming’s field schools, you’ll get a chance to see archaeological excavations up close. Plans to improve the site include the construction of a visitor center, research laboratory, and living history village.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
ON THE WEB:
AT THE LIBRARY:
Buffalo Country: A Northern Plains Narrative, by Edward Raventon
(Johnson Books, 2003). Provides general reading on the natural and
cultural history of the Northern Plains and mentions the Vore Site.
Protect Our Heritage!
The Vore site is known for its excellent preservation of artifacts hundreds of years old. Help protect this piece of Wyoming’s heritage by not disturbing or collecting artifacts or damaging the site.
To report vandalism, call:
Vore Buffalo Jump Foundation
307-283-1192 • 307-766-2208 • 307-766-5136