The Sweet Grass Hills have been a prominent landmark of northern Montana since the buffalo days. They rise nearly 3000 feet above the surrounding prairie and are visible for miles. The “Hills” were created by an igneous intrusion through older sedimentary rocks during the Eocene, about 50 million years ago. The Hills average 18-20 inches of annual precipitation or about double what falls on the surrounding prairie. This provides an island of mountainous, forested habitat for elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer and a few moose.
The Sweet Grass Hills produced minor amounts of gold and silver as well as other minerals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Federal minerals in the Hills are now withdrawn from mineral entry to protect other resource values. Several American Indian Tribes have spiritual and historic associations with the Sweet Grass Hills and they have been determined eligible to the National Register of Historic Places.
Please respect this historic legacy by preventing disturbance and reporting vandalism to this special place.
Activities: Hunting, hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, rockhounding
Season / Hours: Year – round
Location / Access: Public access is available on the north side of East Butte. From US HWY 2, about 2 miles west of Chester, turn north onto Whitlash Road. In Whitlash, turn east onto Black Jack Road, in about 9 miles turn right (south) and park on public lands marked by a sign at the base of the Butte. It is a steep, but beautiful walk from this point.
Maps: The area is shown on the BLM Sweet Grass Hills 1:100,000 map.
Havre Field Office
3990 Highway 2 West
Havre, MT 59501