Bottineau County High Point Trip Report

Boundary Monument on Boundary Butte (2,541 ft)

Date: May 2002
Author: Jobe Wymore

Field observations atop Boundary Butte? Well, I would have to say that isn't going to be possible. The peak is in the northern woods of ND in the Turtle Mountains and is heavily forested. The only line of site you have from the summit is the 30-foot wide clear-cut running east-west along the US-Canada border. Everything else is socked in with trees. The highest ground that we ran across has to be right on the border itself. An USGS style BM is actually on the Canadian side. This by far was the best CoHP that we encountered in ND. The scenery was great and the finish was more than we could have asked for. An all around great CoHP.

From the intersection of ND3/281 and ND43 set the odometer and head west for 18.4 miles until you reach a 4-way stop sign intersection. Make a right here and head north on Bottineau County Road 53, setting the odometer once again. At mile 1.9 the road will Y. You need to continue heading straight (north) and shortly after, you'll reach an intersection. Here take a left, swinging westward onto a decent dirt road. After 3 miles you'll come to an T-intersection where you need to take a right and head north. Just 0.2 mile later the road will curve to the left and at mile 4.4 since you left pavement, the road will start to curve around a pond. Once you curve around the pond, start to look for a grassy road that is going to be to the north from the road you are on, at around mile 4.7. This road has a gate across it and is posted for No Trespassing. There is a road that has developed over the years to the right of the gate that bypasses it all together and we headed up around the gate, up the grassy road. Soon you'll reach another gate that has a "Do Not Enter" sign on it. This is where we parked. The area is heavily forested so your vehicle won't be seen unless someone comes on up the grassy road you are on.

From looking at the map beforehand, we thought we had our work cut out for us on this one. It looked like we had at least a mile of bushwhacking but it turned out that wasn't the case at all. There are numerous logging and hunting roads all over the place and we were able to jump from road to road all the way to the summit of Boundary Butte.

You might have noticed up to this point that you really have no idea on the map where you are. One of the reasons is the new roads that have been put in over the years and they just don't show up on the maps. At the point where you parked, you are just south of the little hill with houses on it in the center of Section 31, right between the lakes with the elevations of 2396 anad 2397. The houses that are on the map have since been removed and replaced with deer stands. This area has to be a hunting Mecca come fall!

We got out of our vehicle and followed the road on the map northward and then southward just as it shows on the map. Shortly thereafter the road will start to head northward again and as it reaches the left side of the "31" in Section 31 in starts to gain elevation a bit. It will then begin to curve and shortly after, look for a road to your right that will have a gate across it. This is where you need to change roads and follow this one north-northeast as it follows the high ground between the lakes on the map marked 2406 and 2417. A short time later, this road will start to lose elevation and pop out into a bit of a clearing. There is an old hunting cabin, not shown on the map, here off the left (west) side of the road. Just keep following the road until it shortly reaches a kind of garage. At this point look, for another road to your right, heading eastward around the beavertail shaped northern extension of the lake at 2406 elevation. About 100 yards later, the road will start to curve to the left and head uphill. You are now on the southern ridge of Boundary Butte. Just follow the road all the way to the summit.

All the way up to this point you have been walking through dense forests with views of lakes. Nice hike. Total distance to the summit is about 1 1/2 miles. The summit is obvious and has a 4 foot tall steel monument on the summit marking the Canadian-US border. The BM is on Canadian side in a pillar. The whole US-Canadian boarder is clear-cut about 30 feet wide and you can look east and west down it. Everything around is tree-covered so looking at other peaks is extremely difficult. We left a register in a cairn that we built. First time in my life I have been an "Illegal Alien" as I crossed into Canada. The best ND has to offer is on this one in the Turtle Mountains.