High Plains 8/03

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    highpointersclub
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    [Ed: Imported from Americas Roof ‘Summit Trip Reports’ forum]
    [By: markv on September 4 2003 at 3:30 PM]

    The next day i did the quick drive and loop hike around Devil’s Tower, en route to White Butte, ND. I’m not advocating stealthing highpoints to avoid fees, but this turns out to be what i did by accident. I was, as usual, navigating from a topo program instead of a guidebook, so i thought i was going the right way when i turned east from U.S. 85 onto a dirt road, and then north onto another. I pulled up to the farm that seemed to be lined up with the butte, parked, and rang the doorbell. A nice lady said “White Butte?” before i could even ask. She pointed to which one it was, and said i’d have to cross a few fences, and to have a nice hike. No mention of money. So off i went, queasy about snakes as i crossed a hayfield, puzzling about making my way over 2 barbed wire fences (i don’t remember these in the description i read online…), and trying to stay north of the summit, even though i was approaching it from due east. It seemed like quite a long hike…nearly an hour and i wasn’t even really up the butte yet. Then i hooked up with a clear trail coming from the north and it finally hit me: that lady was NOT Mrs. Van Daele. oops. it turned out to be a very nice 2 hour roundtrip hike! HP #14. Storms were starting to blow in, so i lamed out on camping in the area this time and drove on to Sturgis for the night.

    I spent the morning at Badlands, and i highly recommend the short Notch trail, which is labeled as “strenuous, 2 hours” but actually was “moderate, 25 minutes.” When the last trail marker points right to the lookout, you can go straight and explore around a neat slot canyon a few yards ahead.

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