White Butte Climber's Log

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triyoda - Oct 12, 2019 8:04 am Date Climbed: Sep 18, 2019

Sunset walk  Sucess!

Hiked Black Elk Peak earlier in the day and enjoyed sunset on the White Butte summit.


radbb - Oct 7, 2019 10:14 am Date Climbed: Sep 26, 2019

Badlands summit   Sucess!

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.


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.

Fr8train - Sep 6, 2019 12:45 pm Date Climbed: Sep 1, 2019

White Butte - 2nd Highpoint!  Sucess!

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!


islandborn11 - Aug 8, 2019 11:44 pm Date Climbed: Aug 6, 2019

Awesome hike in a crazy two hours  Sucess!

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.


Bluebell08 - Mar 22, 2019 11:50 pm Date Climbed: Sep 14, 2017

Highpoint #30  Sucess!

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.


mgriffis - Feb 12, 2019 3:28 pm Date Climbed: Sep 7, 2017

HP #12  Sucess!

Had the trail and summit to myself. A little windy on top, but a great view.


adventureharder - Jan 9, 2019 12:57 am Date Climbed: Dec 31, 2018

State Highpoint #04 | ND  Sucess!



CTberk - Nov 18, 2018 6:34 pm Date Climbed: Oct 20, 2018

Great views

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.


billydheyhey - Nov 16, 2018 2:13 pm Date Climbed: Jul 27, 2017

HP #24!  Sucess!

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)!

Tunalp@yahoo.com - Aug 28, 2018 2:11 pm Date Climbed: Jun 17, 2018

Easy short hike  Sucess!

Nice clear and calm day


marciamallow - May 26, 2018 1:17 pm Date Climbed: Aug 14, 2015

HP #28  Sucess!

Nothing to see along the drive there, but summit views were actually cool!


mzamp - Nov 30, 2016 2:14 pm Date Climbed: Nov 12, 2016

HP #19  Sucess!

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.


larvitar - Sep 4, 2016 2:01 pm Date Climbed: Aug 13, 2016

Larvitour Stop #32  Sucess!

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).


MountainHikerCO - Aug 21, 2016 1:00 pm Date Climbed: Aug 18, 2016

Slippery in places  Sucess!

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.


Jow - Aug 6, 2016 1:45 pm Date Climbed: Aug 5, 2016

HP 34  Sucess!

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.


rockymountaindiva - Jul 30, 2016 6:44 pm Date Climbed: Jul 7, 2016

Great Views  Sucess!

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!


harbor - Jun 17, 2016 10:32 am Date Climbed: Jun 15, 2016

5000 Mile Roadtrip  Sucess!

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.


sgb02d - May 22, 2016 8:39 pm Date Climbed: May 19, 2016

Far from Everything  Sucess!

The drive made you feel so far removed from the rest of the country with hundreds of miles of grasslands and cattle. I saw a high point sign with an arrow and turned on a road before the one that summitpost describes and I ended up in some rough back country private road. I punched through then made a turn to get back on the correct dirt road. I parked at the mail box, it appears they dont want you to drive down the road to the abandoned barn building. I had called the owner earlier and nobody answered. 1 hour to the top, and 1 hour down. No rattle snakes, though I did pluck a tick off my t-shirt that I somehow managed to notice. The most interesting part of this hike was the buttes and the terrain... had never seen anything like it.


JRaphaelson - Aug 13, 2015 9:14 pm Date Climbed: Aug 13, 2015

No Rattlesnakes!  Sucess!

Despite what a lot of people have said, we saw no snakes. Got up and down in an hour. Stay to the left!


DarrenKnezek - Jul 13, 2015 10:48 am Date Climbed: Aug 25, 2013

Got the T-shirt in Amidon!  Sucess!

Climbed the highpoint and then stopped at a store in Amidon and got a sweet T-shirt of White Butte.

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