Hiking Project Logo

greenBlue Butte Saint Paul

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


0.4 mile 0.6 kilometer loop


Ascent: 111' 34 m
Descent: -118' -36 m
High: 2,286' 697 m
Low: 2,168' 661 m


Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Karen Ryberg


Getting forecast...

Current trail conditions

Unknown See History

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

A highpoint to view the beautiful Turtle Mountain area.

Karen Ryberg

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly A short trail with spectacular view.


This trail is a short hike up to a high point in the Turtle Mountains that provides a spectacular view of the trees and lakes below. It also has historical significance for the area with a cairn and plaque dedicated to George Anthony Belcourt. It loops back down to the parking area which includes a grassy area that could be used for picnics.


From Dunseith, North Dakota, head west on State Highway 5 for 6.5 miles. Turn north onto 23rd Ave Northeast. Follow the road 3.1 miles. There is a sign for the Butte Saint Paul State Recreation Area. Turn right and follow the winding two-track gravel road about half a mile through a wooded area to a parking area and grassy picnic area.

There is a sign at the trailhead and the trail is a circular route going counterclockwise up a hill to the monument, crossing an open area with spectacular views of the Turtle Mountain area, and coming back down to the parking area through woods.

History & Background

Butte St. Paul was named by Missionary George Anthony Belcourt. It was once considered the highest spot in North Dakota and offers scenic views of the hilly, wooded Turtle Mountain area.

Belcourt was visiting Native Americans in the area in January 1850. The group (including guides and sled dogs) was caught in a blizzard and sought the highest peak in the area. They buried themselves in the snow until the storm broke. On Jan. 25, which coincides with the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Belcourt offered a Mass of thanksgiving for their survival of the blizzard He named the summit Butte St. Paul and placed a wooden cross on it. A 12-foot cairn was eventually erected to mark the spot.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna


Land Manager: ND- Parks & Rec. Dept.

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In


Sep 21, 2013
Karen Ryberg
September is a beautiful time to visit this area.

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote


  5.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Hike Rankings


in North Dakota


38 Views Last Month
445 Since Nov 11, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate



Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking