Trail of the Week: Chalk Buttes
Venture off the beaten trail for spectacular views of sandstone cliffs and ponderosa pines
South of Ekalaka, the Chalk Buttes are a series of spectacular white sandstone cliffs studded with ponderosa pines. The Buttes shoot up hundreds of feet out of the prairie, and while there are no designated trails, there are endless opportunities for exploring. Following the broad ridgelines will lead you to the top of several buttes, and while there are occasional rocky outcroppings, the hiking is generally straightforward. It’s easy to spend a day exploring the high plateaus - the options are virtually limitless, and the views of the surrounding prairie from all the way up here are truly magical.
Roundtrip Distance: 4 - 11 mi. (see suggested loops on Hike Wild Montana)
Elevation Gain: 400 ft.
Highest Elevation: 4,150 ft.
Seasons: All seasons
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If you want to explore more of Montana’s amazing trails, visit Hike Wild Montana, our online hiking guide. You can find all the best trails in your area and sort them by difficulty, season, scenery, and more. Don’t see one of your favorite trails? You can add it yourself! Just click “Add a Trail” in the top right corner.
Trail of the Week is produced by Peter Hoag. Special thanks to the Greater Montana Foundation, Montana Public Radio, and Trail 103.3 for their support in producing this series. Thanks also to Montana Public Radio, Yellowstone Public Radio, Trail 103.3, KINX, Dave FM, KMTX, KMXM, KOPR, KBOW, and KGLT for airing Trail of the Week. Funding for Trail of the Week is provided by the Greater Montana Foundation -- encouraging communication on issues, trends, and values of importance to Montanans.
- Keely Damara, MWA communications coordinator