This is my 31st state HP and the last of three during this trip. We climbed Harney Peak and Granite Peak first and White Butte last. We arrived at 8:15pm and summited near dark at 8:45pm. ND also represents the 50th state that I have visited.
Sadly, White Butte is my least favorite highpoint to date for many reasons.
Difficult to find / poor signage. There is a sign on the main road, but nothing on any of the side roads indicating where the trailhead is. We wasted an hour looking for the place.
Poorly maintained trailhead. The road to the old farm house is completely overgrown with grass/weeds and pitted with mud holes. It was not passable with a standard car when I was there.
Poorly maintained trail. Simply put, there are cow pies everywhere. It is difficult not to step on one. There are also numerous places where the trail is steep, slippery mud (when wet). Some trail maintenance is sorely needed.
Lousy summit. The summit marker consists of a pile of rocks and a tiny sign. This could be greatly improved to reflect the significance of being the state highpoint.
I know this is private property but I hope the HPers Club can help to make some improvements to the place so that ND's HP is better represented.
Made the summit after being attacked by ticks along the way. very nice view from the top.
In the midst of our two-year blitz of state highpoints, we drove up here and hiked to the marker the day after summiting Harney Peak in SD. It was number 13 of my 49 state high points and Vanessa's 39.
Short and quick summit before the long haul back to Billings MT. No snakes, but the ticks and mosquitos were out in force.
We drove up from our camp near Harney Peak, SD on a day with perfect weather. Two other highpointers were leaving as we arrived and we saw no other people, but lots of wildlife. There were too many pheasant to count, a huge jackrabbit, antelope, and one rattlesnake angered by our close proximity. HP21
Highpoint #5, "summited" around 3pm. Very windy but no snakes. You can see the den maybe 30 ft away from the marker but none came out to play. Maybe it was too windy.
Living half the country away, it's difficult to pinpoint weather conditions in advance; you hope for the best, and work with the conditions as best you can. My wife accompanied me to White Butte a couple hours before sunset, but unfortunately there was a major storm which hit that morning and another major one approaching while we were there (so we had little time to "hang out"). The ground and slopes were slick!!! We were covered in that milky gray-white mud, which is like cement, and we could have glissaded down the slippery slopes if we wanted to. No rattlesnakes, but TONS of pheasants, rabbits, quails, and field mice... and even one badger (which was pretty cool to see).
THOUGHT I MIGHT GET STUCK IN THE RUTS WITH MY STERLING SEDAN. MET THE OWNER AND HIS SON WHO DROVE UP IN A PICKUP AND ASKED ME TO LEAVE A DONATION IN THE MAILBOX. NO SNAKES SEEN. THIS PLACE IS A LONG WAY FROM MOST ANYWHERE, INCLUDING LAS VEGAS
As we drove to the house at the trailhead, a yappy little dog greeted us, followed by an old woman with 2 teeth. The twenty dollar donations she solicited from highpointers obviously did not go towards her dental care fund.
Unfortunately I was forced to move from Utah to Ohio for a year and a half, but at least I was able to climb a few fun mountains on the way east.
Really hot, sunny day...good short hike, though. Lost my footing on the way down and nearly face-planted in the chalky dust. No snakes.
Somewhere I read that you can drive to the old farmhouse. What?? No way you can drive to that. It's like two old dirt tire tracks with grass in the middle that hasn't been cut in ten years. It looks like the owners of the house don't live there. I put a $7 donation in their mailbox. I couldn't open the gate, so I just jumped it. Also nowhere did it say that you cross the fence later on in the hike, though you just step over it. I was all paranoid about the rattlesnakes, especially with that high grass, but didn't come across any. It was windy on the top. Hot as well.
Reached the farm at 9:00 PM. Looks like nobody lives in the house anymore. Dashed to the top right before dark. Hiked with my wife and sons Ryan and Brett. Hike took about 1 hour roundtrip. Forgot my headlamp in the car, but had no trouble finding our way back in the dark. Did not see any rattlesnakes as mentioned in the Highpoint guidebooks. We viewed many pronghorns, rabbits, deer, a skunk, pheasants, and a coyote. Left donation and thank you note in the mailbox. HP #23.
Nice path to the top;
The white sand dunes were simply gorgeous...
We brought gaiters and ice axes for the rattle snakes...
We could hear them in the distance...
Got half way up the butte when my film in camera was used up and realized I left film back in the truck. So this is the only state highpoint without a picture of us on the summit.
Perfect weather for a short hike.
Three days after a 4-day Granite Peak (MT) climb, I was here to visit the ND apex. Met the late Ms. Van Daele and paid my $20. Hike was no trouble but on the way down I slipped and covered myself in that milky, silty, chalky mud. Clothes were shot and I spent 20 minutes at a bathroom on the interstate trying to wash the crud off my skin. Like cement.
A couple feet of snow dumped on the dakotas just before we climbed. The road leading to the trailhead had 2 feet. We ended up snowshoeing from the car to the trailhead then to the base of the monster! ;)
It was just above zero and sunny. Nice day to hike through waist deep snow.
I picked a good day to hike this one, but a bad day to drive all the way to the end of the two-track trail. The day of the hike was sunny/partly cloudy with a good breeze, but it had rained alot the previous night or day and after the hike my four wheel drive Chevy Trailblazer (a rental) got stuck while I was turning around at the trailhead. If it is wet, avoid driving through the puddles!
I printed the exact front page, and had no problem achieving the HP. Had incredible wind, 50+ mph! But, a beautiful climb in May, and was my first HP.
This day was so foggy that I couldn't see the butte from where I parked. I got lost walking towards (what I thought was) the butte. Once I was on top I couldn't see farther tahn 30 yds to know if I had actually reached the top. I didn't realize how much you rely of being able to look up and see the top to guide you in many situations. There are so many "ruts" on top that simply following the trail didn't work for me.