White Butte

By / March 30, 2013 / Badlands, Points of Interest

White Butte is the highest point in the state of North Dakota at 3,506 feet above sea level. The peak is on private land and is not staffed. Of the 50 state highpoints, only seven are on private land — North Dakota, Nebraska, Maryland, Louisiana, Kansas, Indiana and Illinois. There is no development of any kind at White Butte. The closest town, Amidon, had a population of 26 in the 2000 Census, and is the smallest county seat in the nation as the seat of Slope County. According to the 2010 Census, Slope is one of only two counties in the state with a population density of less than one person per square mile… a lot of wide open space out here.

The hike to the top of White Butte is fairly easy if you follow the path up the ridgeline to the summit.

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White Butte

At the summit. The memorial at lower right is a tribute to the former property owner, Lawrence Buzalsky, who died in 1990.

White Butte

There is a summit log notebook in this box. We signed it and left a stack of postcards in the box, but we have yet to hear from anyone who got one.

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Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

About Author

Troy Larson

Troy Larson is a father, husband, author, photographer, publisher and devoted cat person. Troy is the President of Sonic Tremor Media and co-founder of GhostsofNorthDakota.com

11 Comments

Sharon Klemm

I am wondering, if White Butte is on private lands, would taking a hike up there be considered trespassing? I’m headed that way this summer and this looks like a good adventure, but sure don’t want an unfortunate conversation with irate cops or property owners.

Reply
John Kuntz

Troy / Rat
My my father always told me that he and his sister were born at White Butte. But I never realized that it was damn near on top of Butte!

Two years ago I went to Bison (county seat) a got a copy of my grandfathers Land Patent.
My grandfather homesteaded in a soddy just to the southeast of the summit. The homesteaded was a half a mile west of White Butte road along Pasture 5a road. All that is left there is a water windmill pumping water into a stock tank.

Again, thanks for the pics.

John

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Carla Low

I had heard that the owner didn’t allow hikers anymore…..glad to hear there is a contact now. The pictures are wonderful in that most of us who can see them this way won’t be able to climb it for ourselves. Thanks! They look a lot like a piece of the Slim Buttes that survived the erosion, just like the group of those south of Bowman/Reeder/Buffalo/Hettinger. That’s national grasslands, or something, isn’t it?

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Laura

I heard the rattle snacks were really bad in those parts, did you run into a lot on your hike?

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Stephanie Henley

how do you get to a place to start hiking up there? Where? I used to drive by it all the time but couldn’t figure out where to start since it is on private land.

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