Don Holmes reports that the new owners of White Butte — Daryle and Mary Dennis — are going to permit continued access and have dropped the entrance charge to $10/car. This is very generous especially considering there was talk of permanently closing the summit. They have also not placed restrictions on the dates. Please be respectful of the new property owners. Don has also permitted us to post the North Dakota write update from his upcoming “Highpoints of the U.S.” book.
Approximately 7 miles S of Amidon.
2.0 miles‚ round trip‚ cross-country.
400 feet‚ Class 1‚ easy.
Topographic — Amidon‚ N.Dak.‚ 7½ minute.
Approach: >From junction of U.S. Hwy 85 and Main Street in the center of Amidon‚ proceed E on Hwy 85 for 2.0 miles to a gravel road. Turn right (S) on the gravel road and continue 5.0 miles to a gravel road on the right. Turn right (W) and proceed 1.0 mile to the entrance of an abandoned farmhouse off to the left. This is the property of Daryle and Mary Dennis. (See Special Conditions) There is a locked mailbox at the beginning of the driveway. A $10.00 donation per car is requested. Put your donation in the mailbox and then proceed south (S) on the farm road (two tire tracks) along the E side of the fence line. Continue S approximately 0.7 miles and park beyond an old house on the right.
Route: Hike S on the farm road along the fence approximately 350 yards to a gate. Cross over to the W side of the N-S fence line and continue along the fence line to a faint trail which leads to the highpoint. The one-way distance is approximately 1 mile. The USGS benchmark is mounted on a pipe at the highpoint.
The land surrounding and including White Butte is owned by Daryle and Mary Dennis. As a courtesy, permission to cross their property may be obtained from the Dennis’s. The Dennis’s phone number is 701/879-6310. However‚ in the event no one is home to grant permission‚ it is not mandatory. Remember‚ White Butte is on private property. Please respect the rights of the property owner.
There is a highway sign along U.S. Hwy 85 approximately 0.8 miles E of the center of Amidon which indicates White Butte. It points S to the highpoint.
Be alert for rattlesnakes in the area. They are very common and close encounters occur frequently.
The name‚ White Butte‚ is descriptive of the white rock and soil containing bentonite which constitute strata of the buttes in the region. North Dakota’s Bad Lands feature buttes ranging in color from putty gold to blazing red.
Old Indian burial grounds have been found on White Butte.
Natural History Notes
The region around White Butte supports a variety of birds and animals including sage grouse‚ sharptailed grouse‚ ruffed grouse‚ golden eagles‚ prairie falcons‚ pheasant‚ dove‚ mule deer‚ antelope‚ prairie dogs‚ and rabbits. Lizards and rattlesnakes are very common reptiles in the White Butte area.
© 2004 Don W. Holmes