Not just another pretty place.
During a recent trip to spend a few days with my parents in Harlem, I took advantage of the last fall-like Saturday of the year (10/28/17) to visit Snake Butte. The prominent butte sits on the Ft. Belknap Reservation, just 10 miles south of Harlem (my hometown). It is a pleasant prairie hike, but if you’re there just to take a walk or see the tribe’s bison herd, you’ll miss out on much of what Snake Butte has to offer. To fully appreciate the place you need to understand its volcanic origin, its significance to Native Americans, the role it played in the biggest construction project in Montana’s history, and how it was impacted by recent ice ages.
Quiz on Friday. 🙂
The calm, sunny, smokeless skies made for an especially enjoyable hike, but my goal this time was to take photos of these “points of interest”, and then put together a photo tour (see link below) to highlight the fascinating story of Snake Butte. So as you look through the photos be sure to read the captions – And if you know of a more interesting landform on the Hi-Line, please tell me about it!
FYI: The Hi-Line is the general area around Highway #2 in northern Montana between Glacier Park and the North Dakota border.
- Photo Tour of the Hike
There’s a lot of stuff to see on Snake Butte.
- Interactive Topo Map of the Snake Butte Area.
Zoom in or out – Follow the path of the railroad to Harlem.
- Fort Belknap Scenic Tours.
They offer a half-day tour of Snake Butte.
Below: This map marks hikes that have been featured on bigskywalker.com so far – Select full screen to expand, zoom in for more detail, or click on a marker for a link to the post.
Wow Rod. That was a great photo tour. What great photos. And I love the interactive option. Snake Butte is the centerpiece of the Highline and long deserving of a photo exposé. Thanks so much. I really enjoyed it. Keep hiking and posting!
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What a great photo tour. Beautiful photos. The one of the bison in the morning is stunning!
what were you thinking of doing with your blog? i do have tours on my website http://www.fortbelknapcedc.org. snake butte tour is included with them, what could you do to enchance would be greatly appreciated,
Ray – Do you (or anyone) offer a hiking experience, or is it a driving tour? There might be a market for a guided hike. I can post the details on my blog. I’m not looking to make any money, just thought it would be an opportunity for you guys. -Rod
Hello Rod , it’s Dennis Longknife, Jr. I began my career after I graduated from college, working for our Environmental Department in Fort Belknap , as the Snake Butte Environmental Mitigation Coordinator. My grant was primarily to conduct research on the Snake Butte Rock Quarry operations from 1934-1937. I traveled all over the United States collecting information from archives, museums, university-special collections and interviewing workers that were at the Snake Butte Rock Quarry. Quite an undertaking but it was well worth the effort . There are even videos made back in them days of the steam shovels and railroad cars at the quarry. From a geological standpoint, I have some interesting facts would might be interested in.
Thanks, Dennis. I’d love to know more about the geology. What do you have?
Absolutely great pics and info Rod! Thanks for sharing!