Hike to White Butte

North Dakota White Butte Trailhead

Added by Alex Anderson

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.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Water
  • Rain Coat
  • Good Shoes
  • Sunscreen
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Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

400 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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How to Get There

18 days 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.

18 days ago

8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

Added by Alex Anderson

I grew up hunting and fishing the back woods of Louisiana all winter, and backpacking the mountains all summer. I try to spend every free moment skiing, backpacking, fishing or finding an adrenaline rush!

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