White Butte North Dakota's Highpoint Trail

EASY 53 reviews

White Butte North Dakota's Highpoint Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bowman, North Dakota that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 1.3 miles Elevation Gain: 334 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

For those state peak baggers out there... here's a short fun one! An extremely easy highpoint to nab, although getting there can be somewhat of a challenge. Don't forget to leave a donation in the mailbox! (see below)

hiking
closed
flooded
private property
washed out
22 days ago

This is North Dakota. FACTS: I flew into Bismarck, ND. I then proceeded on a 909-mile road trip through the badlands to bag the highpoints in ND and SD. Here is ND, highpoint number 26/51 for me and ranked 30/51. TRAILHEAD / HIKE: The route to get to the trailhead from the North (Amidon, ND) is totally washed out and gone and closed until further notice. You must get to the trailhead from the South (Bowman, ND). I have taken the trouble of providing detailed instructions here. From Bowman, ND, go North on 85 There is a sign on the left for 74th Street, there is NO sign on the right Make a right here onto a dirt road (all roads from now on are hard pack dirt) Go exactly 4 miles (reset odometer) Make a Left on 140th Ave SW (it is now labelled and contrary to other reports is not 137th ave) Go exactly 5 miles (reset odometer) Make a Left on 69 Go exactly 1 mile (reset odometer) Look for Red Iron Ranger, that is the parking for the new trailhead The hike is in one direction (due south) and is straightforward and easy. Surprisingly, I did meet two groups who were coming down as I was going up and one gentlemen going up as I was returning. It took me 90 minutes out and back... DINING: Humpback Sally’s: This place is downtown. I parked in the garage around the corner. This is Bismarck’s version of a pretentious “small plates, tapas” kind of place. I had a bourbon cocktail which was well made. The service was good but not especially warm or friendly. The food was good but the portion sizes are ridiculously small. I just can not see how this type of restaurant can survive in Bismarck. MacKenzie River Pizza Grill & Pub: This place is north of downtown. Plenty of free parking outside a stand alone building. The bar and restaurant were packed. I waited 15 minutes for a seat at the bar. I sat next to 3 fellows, one of whom immediately asked me if I wanted an entire order of nachos, since they had messed up the order (nachos had beans and they did not want beans, lol). Nice gesture. We got to talking and I asked him how his pizza was. He immediately reached over and handed me a slice and said try it. Again, wonderful generosity on his part. The pizza was good. I was planning on eating and drinking here as it was close to where I was going to spend the night. But, these 3 gents were soon gone and replaced by 3 other gents. The 3 new gents immediately started drinking and using foul language very loudly (got to the point that many at the bar area were uncomfortable). I had one beer and left. Laughing Sun Brewing Company: This place is in downtown Bismarck. It is in an industrial area, but I was told it is safe. There is plenty of free parking. They serve good craft beers only. The food is BBQ and it is very good as well. The service is warm and genuine and friendly. At about 900pm, a hip hop band started playing (ridiculously loud). Loud to the point that people in the restaurant and bar could not talk to each other. Many people sitting next to me were so annoyed at the loudness that quite a few paid their tab and left, including me. Little Cottage Cafe: This place is in downtown Bismarck. There is plenty of free parking. The place opens at 600am and is filled by 630am. This is a quintessential hometown feel good breakfast place. I sat at the 4 seat counter. The only waitress has been there for 30+ years. The food is great. The service is great. All around, my best meal in Bismarck. IMPRESSIONS: Apparently, when the settlers came, if they were able to build and live on a structure for 5 consecutive years, they were given 160 acres of land. Land is broken up into sections. Each section is 640 acres. Farms and ranches in ND are huge. Unlike the east coast, nobody discusses square feet, they say how many sections do you own? I marvel at the settlers who travelled west and saw the never ending prairie grasses and decided to stay.

hiking
1 month ago

Read and follow Jason’s directions on finding the trailhead. Do NOT approach it from the north. The road (137th) from the north is completely demolished and after rain today (9/10/19) a total mess. Follow Jason’s directions from the south. Nice hike once you get there.

hiking
1 month ago

Had a hard time locating it. Here’s some helpful directions. Head north on 85 from bowman. When u see the butte on the right watch for a dirt road. There is a sign on the left for 74th but no sign on the right. Turn right here. Go a couple miles and turn left on 137. Follow a couple miles. U will pass the butte on the left. Watch for a street sign on the right that says 70. The next dirt road on the left will be 69 but there is no sign. Turn left here. Follow to the end and u will see a red box for donations and also a sign to park for white butte trail. Park here and follow the fence line back to the butte. U will pass thru a gate and come to the base of the butte. At this point it looks like u could go either way. Go left up the butte and u will see the trail continue to the high point. Got there right before sunset and made it up and back in less than an hour with a few quick pics at the top. Please be sure to leave a donation as the property owner is nice enough to allow high pointers to chase their dreams!

Road to get to the “parking area” was under construction. Confusing drive. Apple maps tries to send you down a tractor road, which will strand you in a family car. Take 137th Ave SW (the road 1 mile East of where Apple maps tries to strand you) to 69th St SW and turn West to get to the parking area (at the corner of 138th Ave SW and 69th St SW). Owner won’t let you drive to the AllTrails trailhead, so you get to walk the extra mile each way from the parking area. Red, metal Donation box by parking area. Mostly Easy hike with some uphill climb toward the peak. Not too bad. Windy. Isolated. Trail is overgrown this time of year with weeds. Parts of the path look like a dirt/grass bobsled run. Use this app to make sure you stay on the trail. (Coming from Black Elk Peak earlier in the day made this one look pretty blah.) Just saying.

Hiked this trail on June 29 with our 5 kids (ages 5-15) in an hour. We parked at the donation box, so it was a 3.4 mile hike - the grasses are pretty tall so I wouldn't suggest driving down the jeep trail this time of year. No marked trail, but it was easy and obvious to follow. The wildflowers and grasses were beautiful with the recent rains, the trail reminded me of the Coastal Trail in Marin Headlands (without the ocean), but the views are still nice. HP #20.

hiking
no shade
private property
3 months ago

Fun and easy hike, quick summit and great views!

hiking
no shade
private property
4 months ago

Great trail, hiked last year

hiking
4 months ago

Really recommend this trail. Beautiful view up top!

4 months ago

Spring is a beautiful time to hike this trail with the wild flowers in bloom. Easy to follow but watch for rattlesnakes...a snake hole and snake by trail about 250 yards after going through gate.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked to the top today. Beautiful views. The trail is a little difficult to locate in places but not too difficult. Left a donation.

hiking
6 months ago

Fun hike. Just note that once you get to the donation box take that left and follow the fence on the left all the way down to the gate. Keep in mind I would not take a low sitting car down all the way. You will pass an old falling down house on the right (if you go through an actual upgraded living area you’ve gone to far)

hiking
muddy
no shade
private property
6 months ago

Fun hike to this high point. The trailhead is easy to find and the trail itself easy to follow (in early April). A bit soft and muddy in places due to snowmelt and recent rains. 3.7 miles round trip and it took us just 1 hour 20 minutes.

hiking
Sunday, August 26, 2018

Very nice hike. I was surprised by how great the views were based on other reviews. Be sure to leave a donation in the box (this is private property and do not have to leave it open to the public) if you are driving all the way to the trail head I would recommend an SUV if you just have a car you will have to stop slightly short due to a steep hill. It’s not to big of deal it will just add a half mile to your hike.

hiking
Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Did not call ahead but did leave a donation in box. Hot and sunny hike - glad other hikers had suggested pants for the tall grass. No problems with pants. No problem following trail as there we foot print in the sandy part for us to follow. If you hit the sandy part and are not sure where to go - the trail is to the right side of the butte wrapping around the back of it. There was a log book to sign so someone must have brought a new one. Fun high point! Did not see any snakes or wildlife. Enjoy!

hiking
Saturday, July 21, 2018

Great hike with the family! My 4 year old and 8 year old had no trouble at all. We wore thin pants and T-shirts since it was warm out and the long grass didn’t bother us. Super fun hike for the whole family!

hiking
Monday, July 09, 2018

I arrived at 630am and was treated to a beautiful view atop North Dakota's highest point! I didn't drive completely to the trailhead. I opted to stop before the trees near the fence (near). I'm glad I did, my SUV wouldn't have liked the road much further! After the first initial climb, you're treated to some waist-high grass, wasn't my favorite in shorts. The summit needs a new log book, every page was full! Just prior to arriving at my car, these mosquito-like bugs started attacking me. The bites swelled up quickly but never itched much. No idea what got me! The trail is not maintained much and you can lose it in the high grass, but just keep looking for higher ground and you'll find it again!

hiking
Friday, June 08, 2018

Quick and easy high point to hike. We had a more difficult time locating the trailhead than anything else. We also had some concerns about the location being on private property. But we didn’t have any problems. We didn’t see anyone in the hour we were there. We called ahead twice with the number on summit post.org. And didn’t get an answer either time. We drove the car along two track on the the right side of the fence to a small hill just before the trail head. This app was very helpful in making sure we stayed on trail. There was one sandy spot at the base that was confusing. When we started going the wrong direction, we were able to turn around and pick up the right trail immediately.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I followed Waze app and takes you right to the mailbox for donations and start. Be sure as others say stay on right side of fence(he even has cameras). Pass old farm house and enter through gate. Trail is to the left as you reach bluffs. Nice hike and awesome views !

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fun short hike with a beautiful vista, particularly at sunrise. Follow the AllTrails directions and it will take you right to the donation mailbox. Follow the barbed wire fence/road to the base of the trail unless you want to add a short walk to the trail.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The directions google gives leads to the wrong location. A local came up on his quad and had me follow him to the trailhead. He stated he has been trying to get google to change the location but hasn’t had any luck so far. Great guy! If you go to the spot where google takes you, with that place on your left, drive another 1.5 miles and turn left. The trailhead is down this road. You will come across the mailbox with the padlock on your right. The local told me I could drive down the fence line until the end and park there instead of parking by the mailbox. Nice little hike to stretch my legs and knock out another high point!

hiking
Saturday, September 30, 2017

You’re fine as long as you stay to right of the fence. It’s a fun interesting and easy high point (my 7th) that’s offers some fairly unique views. Well worth it.

hiking
Monday, September 18, 2017

I think recent changes in the area have led to some confusion. Looking from the mailbox towards the butte, you'll see a dirt driveway with a No Trespassing sign on the left, a wire fence, and a faint tractor road immediately to the right of the fence. You'll want to park at the mailbox and walk down the tractor road, staying to the right of the fence at all times. If you're on the same side as the old farmhouse, you're good. The owner of the driveway does not want you on his side of the fence (driving or walking) and seems to be stepping up enforcement, so I would not be surprised by further changes at this intersection. Going from the mailbox, the whole up-and-down is probably about 3.5 miles. Depending on weather, the hike can be muddy in spots, including at least one steep location where it can be difficult to gain purchase. Don't wear any shoes or pants that you mind getting muddy. Overall, it's a solid highpoint (my 35th) with good views of the surrounding prairie land.

hiking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The peak is still open to the public. The neighbor has been putting up no trespassing sign. The mailbox where you leave donations should still be across the gravel road from the trail head, but may not be marked. You do not need to call for permission, just respect the private property. Park on the gravel road and walk 1 mile down the two track, past the picturesque old farmstead, to the gate on your right. Walk through the gate and find the trail to the left. The owner is OK with this. I talked with him last week.

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