White Butte, North Dakota (3,506 Feet)

White Butte, North Dakota (3,506 Feet)

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 26th, 2002, 5:21 pm #1

Post your trip reports about North Dakota's highest point.

Read about the summit:
http://americasroof.com/nc.shtml
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Anonymous
Anonymous

August 14th, 2002, 4:14 am #2

Last edited by dipper on March 17th, 2004, 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 2nd, 2003, 10:46 pm

June 26th, 2003, 8:09 pm #3

Post your trip reports about North Dakota's highest point.

Read about the summit:
http://americasroof.com/nc.shtml
On Sunday, 22 June 2003, I drove from Glasgow, Mont., to Aberdeen, S.D. (That's the U.S.A., not Scotland!), and determined to "bag" White Butte in North Dakota on the way. It was my first visit to North Dakota, completing the 48 contiguous United States of my childhood. 8-)

White Butte is easy to find. Just take the famous gravel road two miles east of Amidon on US-85, for five miles south, and then a mile west to the Von Daele house. Fortunately I caught the Von Daeles just as they were leaving for church on Sunday morning. Mrs. Von Daele graciously accepted my $20 donation as an access fee, and we exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes before we all headed out. I was the first "high-pointer" that weekend.

The access road toward the high point is a few hundred yards east of the Von Daele house. It is in reasonably good shape, although the vegetation in the median was getting pretty high after spring rains. At Mrs. Von Daele's advice I drove a little past the ruins of the old farmhouse and parked on a grassy knoll. The road continues a couple hundred yards further, but it is in poorer condition past that point.

White Butte is right in front of you, so there's no problem figuring out how to hike to it. When you get to the intersection of the fence lines, carefully remove the wire loop-over on the gate on your right, and be sure to replace it after you've passed through. There is no excuse for not attending to this very simple task, and the livestock will stay where they are supposed to be. Then walk on the path just to the right of the north-south fence line to the butte. Once at the butte, start climbing, using an available path. The climb was a little more strenuous than I expected, because the worst part is hidden from view until you reach the first plateau of the butte. But, any reasonably fit person should be able to reach the summit without much difficulty. It was about a 20-25 minute walk from my car to the summit, and fortunately it was a cool, breezy day.

At the summit there is the celebrated memorial to Leon Buzalzky, a metal box containing a register, and an excellent view. In June, at least, the vegetation is still green and the rugged "badlands" landscape is quite impressive. I also saw a lot of wildflowers on the hike, and I picked up a couple of ticks, so be careful in this regard. The renowned rattlesnakes were, thankfully, conspicuous by their absence.

I did not see a convenient road over to southbound US-85, so I took the gravel road back five miles north. Be forewarned that the speed limit drops from 70 mph to 25 mph at Amidon, and on this Sunday morning one of Slope County's finest was sitting in his patrol car in the shade near the city limits. I dodged the bullet on that one! Maybe he was impressed by how quickly I hit the brakes! 8-)

I believe this was high point #17 for me.

Mark Stauter
Rolla, Mo.
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-adam
-adam

June 27th, 2003, 1:31 pm #4

I don't know if the speed trap you mentioned was the same one I saw, but right at the town limits of Amidon coming from the east, there was an old patrol car parked, complete with a dummy officer. It was pretty obvious when I was there (Wed 6/18) that it was just a decoy, since the weeds had grown up around the car. But someone may have cut them down since.

-adam
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markv
markv

September 4th, 2003, 7:30 pm #5

Post your trip reports about North Dakota's highest point.

Read about the summit:
http://americasroof.com/nc.shtml
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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Hojo
Hojo

September 29th, 2003, 3:17 am #6

Post your trip reports about North Dakota's highest point.

Read about the summit:
http://americasroof.com/nc.shtml
At least there were none on the trail when we went hiking on the 15th. Mrs. VD graciously took our donation and was feeling chatty. We enjoyed the hike but have to go back since our camera malfunctioned at the top. The views are worthy of a second trip.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 17th, 2004, 4:13 pm #7

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 25th, 2004, 3:15 pm #8

Post your trip reports about North Dakota's highest point.

Read about the summit:
http://americasroof.com/nc.shtml
http://www.network54.com/Forum/message? ... 1087608078
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Joined: August 14th, 2004, 12:51 am

August 14th, 2004, 12:57 am #9

Post your trip reports about North Dakota's highest point.

Read about the summit:
http://americasroof.com/nc.shtml
I have to wonder if all of the talk about snakes is exagerated. My son and I hiked the summit on Aug 2nd, and saw no sign of snakes. We left the $20 in the pickup, and saw no other human during the hike. It was suprising beautiful on top with a great view. I would caution others to watch the weather. While it was beautiful on our trip, there were a couple of steep, baren sections that would be really tough with water cascading down them.

http://www.cydonian-tech.com/Highpoints/ND/index.htm
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 9:07 pm

August 17th, 2004, 4:36 am #10

The reports of snakes seemed to stop at the exact time the $20 fee was introduced.

Apparently they have no way of carrying their wallets with them.
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