The Butte was used as both a landmark and a water stop on the Goodale cutoff of the Oregon Trail. Its northern slopes provide spring water in the thirsty desert. This also makes the mountain a small ecosystem in the middle of the unforgiving desert.
Although not the tallest mountain, it may afford the best summit views of Southeast Idaho. A 360 degree panoramic view affords views from the Tetons to the south hills of Twin Falls. The Smiley knob of the Pioneer Range, the Lost River Range, and the Lemhis are all in view, as are the major summits of Southeast Idaho south of the Snake River. With a pair of binoculars, large buildings from Idaho Falls to American Falls are visible.
The mountain is around 300,000 years old and is of volcanic origin. It overlooks the Great Rift area and Craters of the Moon.
Hang gliding is another popular activity on the slopes of the butte. There is a launch site on the western, lower end of the peak. Come during a warm summer weekend and you have a guaranteed view of hang gliders around the peak.
The approach from the east is through Atomic City. At the south end of town, there is a gravel road that heads off toward the south. From this this road turn right on one of the first roads that leads toward the butte. Follow this road through some cattle watering holes until you come right to the butte. Skirt the southern edge of the butte to circle around toward the northern drainage and road to the top. View Approach Map.
Contact the Idaho Falls BLM office for more condition information.