Hike "R" Mountain

Idaho North Menan Butte Hike

Added by Josh Packer

R Mountain offers amazing views of the Snake River Valley and Snake River, especially at sunrise. You also have the ability to see the Teton Mountain Range in the distance. The hike also has unique terrain to explore with interesting lava-rock formations you can enter. 

The North Menan Butte, or "R" Mountain is a well-known landmark in southeast Idaho for its size and uniqueness. The mountain is known as “R” Mountain by locals because of the large “R” painted on its side for Rexburg, Idaho. "R" Mountain, however, is not actually a mountain but rather an extinct volcano.

Hiking up "R" Mountain at anytime provides a spectacular view of the Snake River Valley and Snake River. However, the most amazing time to reach the top is at sunrise as the sun lights up the Snake River and the Tetons in the far distance.

Time to Hike: If you want to catch the sunrise, plan on arriving at the trailhead at dusk about an hour before the sun comes up. The hike takes about 45 minutes, so plan accordingly. When my brother and I hiked at dusk, we were literally running on the top of the Butte to get a good photography spot before the sun rose. Don't make our same mistake. You hike up the west side of the butte and can't see how close the sun is to coming up, so start the hike early. Once you hit the top of the butte, you will need to head over to the east side to get a good angle for the sunrise. Also, be careful where you sit as there are cacti everywhere.

Directions from Idaho Falls: Head north on North Holmes/Lewisville Hwy for about 20 miles until you reach the intersection with ID-48. Take a right (east) on ID-48 towards Menan. Drive 1 mile and take a left (north) on N 3600 E/Twin Butte Road and follow the road for roughly 3 miles. The trailhead and parking area are on the right side of the road.

Directions from Rexburg: Take Hwy 33 west from Rexburg for about 7 miles. Turn left (south) onto N 3600 E/Twin Butte Road. Take the first right turn on paved road. Continue following the road for 2 miles. The trailhead is on the left side of the road.

Pack List

  • Bring plenty of water
  • Bring a camera and tripod
  • Bring a long camera lens to zoom in on the Grand Teton
  • Watch your step along the hike for slippery surfaces
  • Be on the lookout for rattlesnakes
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Chillin, Fitness, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



3.3 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1263 Feet



Easy Parking

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How to Get There

6 months ago

Great Place For Run

I live very close so I can get here in 10 min anytime. Has nice spot to set up tents but fire is a no go so probably only good idea to stay the night in late summer. Has great views of snake river, sand dunes and valley. Real nice trail on top for running to train at higher altitude. Real short hike so great for families or quick adventure.

6 months ago

Added by Josh Packer

I love exploring Idaho and other nearby states. I live in Idaho with my wife and three boys. I'm a full-time accountant but obsessed photographer and adventurer.

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