Highway 85 east of Amidon now has a sign in each direction for the dirt road to take south to White Butte. However we did not see a sign for the right turn (west) to the trailhead. This TH road has a right turn back to the north at the fence line that marks the trailhead. Park here at the donation mailbox. The fence line road to the south is closed to vehicle traffic. Follow this fence line south. When the fence line runs into the first real hill that is part of the butte, a path skirts around to the right. You can then follow this path the rest of the way to the summit. The dirt is slippery on the steep spots, so a trekking pole is recommended. A bit of moisture could make some of this dirt into a nasty mess.
I hiked White Butte over labor day weekend. A few notes...
The directions on the page are great. If you follow them you're good to go.
The current donation ask appears to be $10. I hope everyone will pay that as these people are very gracious to allow hikers on their land.
When you are headed along the fence, as described on the page, and reach the gate you will approach a little gully right where you read the "white butte" that makes you want to go right. I can confirm that you should stay left up the hill and aim for the green (or brown in winter) hill ahead of you. Other than that one spot, I found the trail perfectly fine and extremely easy to follow.
Lastly, after reading about this hike, rattlesnakes were in my head. I expected to see them everywhere. We hiked extremely slowly through all of the tall grass and watched our step carefully, but we saw exactly zero. I would recommend using caution but don't be deterred from hiking.
Beautiful views at the top which surpassed my expectations!
The clarifications on this site definitely helped me find my way to White Butte this summer, so thank you everyone!
I have to admit though that I am a much more visual person, and even with the detailed instructions, I struggled a bit. In case anyone else needs that type of visual support as well, it's included in one of my blog posts about this summit.
You can check it out here: http://www.therestlesshearts.com/first-high-point-white-butte-nd/
Hope this helps. Happy hiking (:
We had some issues with the directions in the previous comments. Here are the full directions that got us to the trailhead:
1) Starting in Amidon travel east on US 85 for 2 miles.
2) Turn right (S) on 140th Ave SW. It's a gravel road and you will see "White Butte Trading" on your left. There's also a large brown landmark sign for White Butte that will let you know you're on the right track.
3) Travel south for 4.8 miles and then turn right (W) on an unmarked gravel road. The road has no sign and Google Maps has no name for it (at the time of writing).
4) Travel west for about 1 mile to the end of this road. This is where you'll see the donation mailbox. It's located here:
5) You'll see several roads at the intersection with the mailbox - from here you want to make a 90 degree left and head directly south along the fence. I'd recommend you park and walk from the mailbox, but you can drive this section is your vehicle is up for it.
Side note: If you're walking, it's important that you stay to the right (W) side of the fence, even though the road on the other side appears to be better maintained. The fence is electrified and monitored with trail cameras, so attempting to jump it would be ill advised.
7) Keep heading south until you reach the end the road where the fences meet. You should see a small gate on the right. Head through the gate and continue south on the trail.
Hope this helps!
I read through all the directions and still got lost. Google maps places the starting point on 140th Ave. It looks right, as it has a dirt road leading across a field toward the peak. But the area is fenced off and has no trespassing signs up. The starting point is located on the road north of this point. Currently, there's no sign on the road. Follow it to the end and you'll clearly see the mailbox, the trail, and the abandoned farmhouse in the distance. The individuals who own the adjacent property clearly do not want people on their property. They've erected new fencing, posted numerous signs, and some of the fence is posted as electrified. It was a beautiful day, a great hike, and another high point! I added a map to the photo section. I would have helped me find the trail head. Hopefully it'll help someone else.
It looks like the Highpointers have been here and done some updating.
Google Maps takes you right there. Coming from Bowman we came up north on US-85. Turned right on 74th St (dirt). Turned left on 140th Ave (dirt) and then turned left to White Butte. Roads were good dirt and passable by any vehicle
There is a sign now at the end of the road indicating to park there as opposed to the farm house.
The mailbox is gone and now there is a red post for you to give your donation. No amount is suggested
The trail is super easy to follow. Only item of interest is when you get to just below the grove of trees there is a right/left decision. Either way gets you there but the right branch is what should be the actual trail
First, Google Maps brought us directly to the trailhead. There is sign on 85 south indicating the left turn onto the first dirt road. There is a new locked mailbox for donations. The gate at the beginning of the trail is signed. The path is very clear. we wore long pants but really did not need them. Easy hike with North Dakota views.