Hike to White Butte

4 miles 400 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Alex E

Take in amazing views of the Little Missouri National Grassland and hike to the top of North Dakota's Highest Point.

Standing at only 3,506 feet on a good day, White Butte in Amidon, North Dakota, isn't going to be the greatest peak you ever conquer, but it will definitely be a memorable one. Located in the Southwest corner of the Badlands of North Dakota, White Butte is simply the highest grassy hill in the plains of the Little Missouri National Grasslands. This trail is still very remote, and offers amazing views. The trail is only 3.5 - 4 miles round trip, depending on how much you walk around at the top. The elevation gain is 400 feet, but it you will cover that in about 1/2 a mile. This hike can be strenuous for about 10 minutes, but overall it is very easy and should only take you about 2 hours. It felt as if I was on stage starring in Little House on the Prairie, with the wind racing over the tall grasses as a windmill turned over a old wooden farm house with the shutters slamming open and closed. The trail and peak are on private land, but the family allows hikers to access the peak and only asks for a 5 dollar donation. You can place the donation in the mailbox at the end of the family's driveway near the trailhead. All they ask is that you help maintain the trail by picking up any trash you find, and close any gates you open along your trip. The trailhead is a rough dirt road that follows an old barbed wired fence parallel to the home and perpendicular to White Butte Peak. Use the small gate in the barbed wire fence at the base of White Butte to access the foot traffic trail straight up to the peak. The trail cuts through a grove of trees, then veers right toward the peak. The top offers unobstructed views of the surrounding Little Missouri Grasslands. The beginning of the hike was slightly overcast, but by the time I started to hike down it looked like I was going to be apart of the Twister Sequel. A storm quickly rolled in and gave me some pretty amazing photo opportunities.

Directions From the South:
Take US 85 North through the town of Amidon. After passing Main St. drive for 1.9 miles past mile marker 43, and turn right on 140 Ave SW. Continue 4.9 miles on this dirt road passing Badlands Auto Body and Glass at about 2 miles. Turn right on the Unnamed dirt road after 4.9 miles, and continue for 1 mile to the family's driveway. Park along the road and follow the fence and dirt road North towards the peak. The dirt road will pass an old picturesque farm house on your right.

Directions From the North:
Take US 85 South passing White Lake National Refugee on your left. After mile marker 44 you will turn left onto 140 Ave SW. Continue 4.9 miles on this dirt road passing Badlands Auto Body and Glass at about 2 miles. Turn right on the Unnamed dirt road after 4.9 miles, and continue for 1 mile to the family's driveway. Park along the road and follow the fence and dirt road North towards the peak. The dirt road will pass an old picturesque farm house on your right.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

almost 4 years ago

North Dakota High Point

Unlike many western high point hikes, White Butte is not a difficult or long hike, but it is remote. Well worth the effort and a relatively easy hike up for kids as well.

Fun Hike

Took my dog hiking there today. It was easy hike and the view was nice. At the summit, there is a registration box, which is a nice surprise to see. Frankly, it is not going to take your breath away once you get to the highest point, but it is a fun hike especially for my dog. That alone is worth taking the trip to White Butte in my view. Thanks Alex for listing this place.

Stay Nearby

Medora, North Dakota

Cottonwood Campground

Overview For people visiting the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Cottonwood Campground is a great place to stay. Located five miles from the entrance to the South Unit of the park, ...

Medora, North Dakota

Roundup Group Horse Camp

Overview For groups with or without horses visiting the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Roundup Horse Campground is a great place to stay. Located 12 miles from the entrance to the ...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike up Buck Hill, Theodore Roosevelt NP

    Buck Hill is a popular stop on Theodore Roosevelt National Park's Scenic Loop Road. The official trail is only a half mile round trip, but the landscape is open and it is worth spending more time in the Buck Hill area wandering around the various ...

    0.2 miles

  • Camp at Cottonwood Campground in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

    Nestled right along the Little Missouri River, Cottonwood Campground offers 76 camp sites (including pull-through, back-in, and walk-in sites).Walk-in sites sit right along the river where buffalo and wild horses are frequently spotted at dusk and...

  • Drive the Scenic Loop at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

    Imagine you have been driving for hours through North Dakota. The landscape is uncompromisingly flat and there isn't so much as a tree to obscure the horizon in any direction. Then, with no warning, the topography transforms. The prairie around yo...

  • Hike to the North Petrified Forest

    Make sure you swing by the Visitor's Center to get a map and a paper copy of directions to the trailhead as it goes through private property.The trail starts at the parking lot and heads into a wilderness area. After a few hundred feet you will pa...

    3 miles 400 ft gain