OverviewBlack Butte is located in NW Montana's Salish Mountains approximately 3 miles southwest of Eureka, Montana. Eureka is the last town in Montana before hitting the Canadian border. Black Butte sports a lookout at the summit and is also host to an electronic site.
Views of the Salish Mountains to the south and the Whitefish Range to the east were fantastic. Montana's Purcells rising to the west above Lake Koocanusa were inspiring as were the views of Lake Koocanusa to the north along with the Canadian Rockies.
Initially used as a patrol point in the 1920's, the first tower built was a 35' pole L-4 in 1939. In 1973, an 8x8' cab was installed atop the radar installation, with no living quarters. The present 45' all-steel live-in tower was constructed in 1983 and is staffed every summer.
|Terrain||One-Way Mileage||Elevation Gain|
|FS Road 7185||3.02||860'|
Camping and RedTapeBlack Butte is located in the Kootenai National Forest which is bear country. Don't hike alone, make noise as you hike, and carry bear spray and know how to use it. We saw no bear sign on Black Butte, but the Salish Mountains are chock full of healthy-sized black bears and the occasional grizzly.
There is no water available on this hike. A map of the Kootenai National Forest and the Rexford/Fortine Ranger District is helpful in negotiating the many Forest Service Roads. Bug repellent is an absolute necessity in Montana in June, July and August, not so much in April.
The closest campground is at Camp 32.