OverviewThe Whetstone Buttes are a group of buttes in western Adams County in southwestern North Dakota. They contain the highest point in the county. The benchmark elevation appears to be 3149, but the highest point on the caprock is approximately 10 feet higher.
Some locals refer to the buttes as Porton's Buttes.
The rocks on the buttes appear to be a sort of conglomerate. They are covered with lichens and can be quite crumbly.
By the shortest route from the road, the vertical gain would be approx 230 feet on a 1/4-mile hike, one way. A suggested route would be to start slightly to the southwest of the highpoint, at a gate, near a stock tank. There is no defined route, but it is generally easy hiking, and the summit is within plain view from most anywhere in the area. A slight amount of scrambling will be required to actually touch the summit.
Besides the highpoint, another suggested hike would be the butte to the southwest, directly opposite the gate mentioned above. There are game trails that can be followed up to the caprock, and a short bit of scrambling will be required to climb above the caprock.
Getting ThereFrom the eastern edge of Reeder, ND, on US 12, turn north on 15th Street NW. The pavement ends at 6.7 miles. Turn west at 7.7 miles onto a dirt road. Park at a suitable location. Be careful not to start any fires by driving through tall, dry grass.
Red TapeThe Whetstone Buttes and the County Highpoint are on private land. Obtain an Adams County plat book or directory. There are multiple landowners in the area. As of 2009, the land that contains the highpoint is enrolled in the PLOTS program (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) and is open to public walk-in hunting from September 1 to April 1.
COHP Report 1
COHP Report 2