Due to construction on 69th you need to access the trailhead from 140th Street north of Amidon. There is a large green sign showing the turn on Highway 85. Follow 140th street for 5.0 miles and turn right to reach the trailhead (appx 1 mile ahead).
It was a drizzly day, everything was green, but mud was plentiful. And the clay this mound is made of is EXTREMELY slippery. I'm an avid trail runner, and read conditions fairly well, and I slipped on a spot that, from my view, did not look slippery at all. It caught me by such surprise, I barely had time to catch myself. I landed hard on my right hand and ribs. Still both very sore almost a week later. So if you go while it is wet, take extreme precaution any time you are on the white clay soil. It is a very short hike, especially if you start at the gate past the old house. Just .75 miles to the top and only 300' of climb.
My 30th state high point after a 4yr hiatus. Nice hike and beautiful day. The road to get there is closed from the south. Can only arrive from the Amidon side
Hiked Black Elk Peak earlier in the day and enjoyed sunset on the White Butte summit.
This is North Dakota.
FACTS: I flew into Bismarck, ND. I then proceeded on a 909-mile road trip through the badlands to bag the highpoints in ND and SD. Here is ND, highpoint number 26/51 for me and ranked 30/51.
TRAILHEAD / HIKE:
The route to get to the trailhead from the North (Amidon, ND) is totally washed out and gone and closed until further notice. You must get to the trailhead from the South (Bowman, ND). I have taken the trouble of providing detailed instructions here.
From Bowman, ND, go North on 85
There is a sign on the left for 74th Street, there is NO sign on the right
Make a right here onto a dirt road (all roads from now on are hard pack dirt)
Go exactly 4 miles (reset odometer)
Make a Left on 140th Ave SW (it is now labelled and contrary to other reports is not 137th ave)
Go exactly 5 miles (reset odometer)
Make a Left on 69
Go exactly 1 mile (reset odometer)
Look for Red Iron Ranger, that is the parking for the new trailhead
The hike is in one direction (due south) and is straightforward and easy. Surprisingly, I did meet two groups who were coming down as I was going up and one gentlemen going up as I was returning. It took me 90 minutes out and back...
Humpback Sally’s: This place is downtown. I parked in the garage around the corner. This is Bismarck’s version of a pretentious “small plates, tapas” kind of place. I had a bourbon cocktail which was well made. The service was good but not especially warm or friendly. The food was good but the portion sizes are ridiculously small. I just can not see how this type of restaurant can survive in Bismarck.
MacKenzie River Pizza Grill & Pub: This place is north of downtown. Plenty of free parking outside a stand alone building. The bar and restaurant were packed. I waited 15 minutes for a seat at the bar. I sat next to 3 fellows, one of whom immediately asked me if I wanted an entire order of nachos, since they had messed up the order (nachos had beans and they did not want beans, lol). Nice gesture. We got to talking and I asked him how his pizza was. He immediately reached over and handed me a slice and said try it. Again, wonderful generosity on his part. The pizza was good. I was planning on eating and drinking here as it was close to where I was going to spend the night. But, these 3 gents were soon gone and replaced by 3 other gents. The 3 new gents immediately started drinking and using foul language very loudly (got to the point that many at the bar area were uncomfortable). I had one beer and left.
Laughing Sun Brewing Company: This place is in downtown Bismarck. It is in an industrial area, but I was told it is safe. There is plenty of free parking. They serve good craft beers only. The food is BBQ and it is very good as well. The service is warm and genuine and friendly. At about 900pm, a hip hop band started playing (ridiculously loud). Loud to the point that people in the restaurant and bar could not talk to each other. Many people sitting next to me were so annoyed at the loudness that quite a few paid their tab and left, including me.
Little Cottage Cafe: This place is in downtown Bismarck. There is plenty of free parking. The place opens at 600am and is filled by 630am. This is a quintessential hometown feel good breakfast place. I sat at the 4 seat counter. The only waitress has been there for 30+ years. The food is great. The service is great. All around, my best meal in Bismarck.
Apparently, when the settlers came, if they were able to build and live on a structure for 5 consecutive years, they were given 160 acres of land. Land is broken up into sections. Each section is 640 acres. Farms and ranches in ND are huge. Unlike the east coast, nobody discusses square feet, they say how many sections do you own? I marvel at the settlers who travelled west and saw the never ending prairie grasses and decided to stay.
Great directions on this website. Just after crossing the gate I had a rattlesnake to my left so watch out for those buggers. Once I got the the base I ended up missing the rock pile and went straight. Once I crested that initial climb up I found the trail again. I will know for next time.
Beautiful views and not a soul up there. I was blessed with great weather but a storm rolled in fast and rained shortly after I came back down. Makes me appreciate North Dakota that much more!
Came down from Theodore Roosevelt NP for about a noon hike. As I was cruising down these rural roads the road to the HP the dirt road melted into a muddy river and my jeep got stuck fast. Immediately locals showed up to help and got me out of the mud by gunning the accellorator while we pushed Thanks Shelby and Kody!
Starts on a dirt trail near an abandoned farm. The sun came out and was blistering about twenty minutes in. After a mile of flat walking and birdwatching the trail rises and has a few almost scrambling moments before you rise to the summit where a ammo box protects the register. On the driveback the road had baked to the point where I couldn't even find the stretch where I had struggled in the mud.
Gorgeous views and not a single other person on the trail. This is a tough one to get to but a fun hike with plenty of great views. Supposedly they are putting gravel on that road but it is scary in the rain.
Sunset hike, quick stop on drive home to east coast from Glacier National Park. Great view of cows in the fields below and saw deer on the ridge as we approached the hilly part of the hike. No other people for miles it seemed and some wind on top.
Had the trail and summit to myself. A little windy on top, but a great view.
Beautiful day with mild temps and a slight breeze. Very slippery after the previous day of rain. great views on top. Signs on the road are great.
I've heard they made improvements the navigation to trailhead since I climbed this, but I found it rather tricky when I was here.
Saw some deer, but no rattlesnakes (fortunately)!
Nice clear and calm day
Nothing to see along the drive there, but summit views were actually cool!
Beat the imminent snow due in 5 days. Surprisingly no wind considering how windy it was on Black Elk earlier in the morning.
The land owner to the east seems to be installing a fence along his property line. This will make the trail obvious as all you will need to do is follow the west side of the fence line to the gate.
I climbed up on an absolutely beautiful morning--moderate winds, scattered clouds, great view from the top. The trail was a bit overgrown in places, so I was glad I'd worn long pants. No rattlesnakes, but I did have a little run-in with the goats grazing in the field beside the trail (fortunately, I was rescued by a pickup truck--the owners?--that came up the road and shooed them away).
This is a much easier hike than the mountains in states to the west. But it is not without its risks. On the way down my wife slipped on the loose dirt and sprained her wrist. Trekking poles recommended.
Had to crawl under barb wire next to rotting rattlesnake carcass but other than that beautiful day. Had a beer at top and didn't see any live snakes. Few other gents on mountain.
Went to Devil's Tower but thunder/lightning drove us to come up with another idea so called for permission. Easy to find, turn left at sign that says 69 ST SW, drive to mailbox (donation box) and park in field to the right of the farm road. Very windy on top!
STHP # 17 for me. Part of a 5k mile road trip through much of the Northern States. Did 4 total state high points and visited a ton of National Parks and other scenic stops.
White Butte is amazingly beautiful in mid-June. We had a cloud-dotted windy day. The prairie grass blowing in waves, no insects, perfect temperature. Couldn't ask for better.
I hiked it with my 18 mo. old and 7 yr old while my wife stayed in the car with my other son. My 7 yr old then hiked it with my wife while I had the other 2.