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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Merrick's Butte in Monument Valley, Utah

A butte (pronounced /ˈbjuːt/) is a conspicuous isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top; it is smaller than mesas, plateaus, and tables. In some regions the word is used for any hill. The word "butte" comes from a French word meaning "small hill"; its use is prevalent in the western United States, including the southwest, where "mesa" is also used.

In differentiating mesas and buttes, geographers use the rule that a mesa has a top wider than its height, while a butte's top is narrower.[1]

Three noted buttes are Chimney Rock and Crested Butte in Colorado, and Elephant Butte in New Mexico.



Buttes are formed by erosion when hard caprock covers a layer of softer rock that is eventually worn away. The hard rock thus avoids erosion. On a much smaller scale, the same process forms hoodoos.

See also


  1. ^ "Mesa and Butte". Science Clarified. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-30.  
  2. ^ Hill, R.T. 1890. A brief description of the Cretaceous rocks of Texas and their economic value. In: Dumble, E.T. (ed.), First Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Texas, 1889. Austin: State Printing Office, pp. 105-141.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Sign advertising Butte, on the I15 as approached from the north.
Sign advertising Butte, on the I15 as approached from the north.

Butte is one of the major towns in Montana.


It used to be Montana's largest city, but has dwindled in size and importance along with the state's mining industry. The essence of the town is summed up by the sign on the northern approach from the I-15:

The "greatest mining camp on earth" built on "the richest hill in the world". That hill, which has produced over two billion dollars worth of gold, silver, copper and zinc is literally honeycombed with drifts, winzes and stopes that extend beneath the city. There are over 3000 miles of workings and shafts reach a depth of 4000 feet. This immediate country was opened as a placer district in 1864. Later Butte became a quartz mining camp and successively opened silver, copper and zinc deposits. Butte has a most cosmopolitan population derived from the four corners of the world. She was a bold, unashamed, rootin', tootin' hell-roarin' camp in days gone by and still drinks her liquor straight.

Get in

Butte is located right along I-90 between Deer Lodge and Whitehall, and also at the intersection with the I-15 highway.

  • The most interesting (horrifying?) feature of Butte is the 1,700-foot-deep Berkeley Pit (sometimes referred to by out-of-staters as the "Butte Hole"), the site of a former copper mining operation that is now partially filled with toxic runoff and is listed as a Superfund site. Despite the frightening description, The Pit is an interesting and instructive side trip and should not be passed up.
  • The Mineral Museum [1] is located on the Montana Tech Campus. 1,300 specimens of minerals from around the world. The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Earthquake Studies Office is also located in the Museum, offering the visitor an opportunity to see active seismographs recording real time data from Montana’s seismic network. The Mineral Museum conducts tours, lectures and workshops. Summer Hours: daily, 9 AM – 5 PM (June 15 through September 15). Winter Hours: Weekdays, 9 AM – 4 PM. Free admission.
  • Old Butte Historical Adventures [2] Walking tours explore the colorful history of Butte, Montana — "The Richest Hill on Earth". +1-406-498-3424. 1 and a half hour tours. Adults: $10.00, children under 12: $5.00, seniors over 65: $8.00
  • The Saint Patrick's Day celebration is a regional legend as Butte is one of those rare places that does not have an open container law. Beer is colored green, and many people flock to the town for drinking and partying.
  • Evel Knievel Days [3] Free. Evel Knievel's hometown of Butte plays host to a three-day event drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world during the last weekend in July each year. In 2009, July 23,24,25.
  • 71st National Folk Festival [4] July 10-12, 2009. Traditional music, food, crafts, culture. Uptown. Free admission.
  • An Ri Ra Irish Festival [5]uptown, every year in August. 2009: August 7-9.
  • Butte Vigilante Rodeo [6] weekend after the 4th of July.
  • Discovery Ski Area [7] in nearby Philipsburg.


Discovery is west of Anaconda at beautiful Georgetown Lake.


Butte is known for the food of its mining heritage. Pasties are a meat potato and onion mix, surrounded by dough. Miners used their helmet candles to heat the self-contained meal down in the shaft below Butte. Pasties are served locally at restaurants with two (Joe's and Nancy's) giving them top billing.

  • Pork Chop John's: Fast food. 8 W. Mercury, uptown. +1(406) 782-0812 Monday through Saturday 10:30 am until 10:30 pm
  • Spaghettini's: for surprisingly good upscale Italian. Location varies-- ask around.
  • Fred's Mesquite: BBQ; pricey, but has a nice outdoor deck and good food. 205 S. Arizona (uptown) (406) 723-4440.
  • Uptown Cafe: Nicest restaurant in town; locals love to hate it because they don't serve gigantic portions or have poker machines. Good, more upscale American food; very good lunch served cafeteria style. 47 E. Broadway (uptown) (406) 723-4735.
  • The Derby: Steak house; on the Flat and not within walking distance of any of the hotels. But if you want steak, it's arguably one of the best in town. 2016 Harrison Ave., (on the Flats) (406) 723-9086

Aside from that, most places serve the usual American steak, burgers, french fries, and the like.

  • Lydia's Supper Club, 4915 Harrison Ave., 406-494-2000. Full-course dinners served with pride since 1946.  edit
  • Blue Luna 124 S. Main Street, uptown Butte. Hip spot where students, professionals, and soccer moms meet. Gourmet, socially-conscious coffees, loose leaf teas, and a variety of delectable treats. Classical Music Mornings. Free wireless access. Mon-Fri 6:30-4:00. Sat-Closed. Sun 10:00-4:00. Live Music Friday Nights: doors open at 7:00pm.
  • For just a drive-through coffee, the best coffee place is Mountain Coffee. They have locations on Montana Street (corner of Montana and Iron) and on Harrison Ave., at the corner of Harvard and Harrison (across Harrison from a Conoco gas station, and across Harvard from a Chinese restaurant.)
  • The Party Palace lives up to its billing, with pool and karaoke and cheap beer, but the local clientele leaves a lot to be desired.
  • The Silver Dollar Saloon offers a friendly place for a drink, with a youthful atmosphere.
  • Maloney's in uptown Butte is where you will find exotic beers, including Guinness.
  • The Cavalier Lounge in the Finlen Hotel offers a dark, more lounge-like feel-- chairs, tables, smoking.
  • Hops is located in the Butte Best Western Inn down on the Flats, next to the Perkin's Restaurant. Don't let this stop you; they have one of the best bartenders in town and despite the shiny neon casino on one side, it has a pretty nice atmosphere.
  • The Vu Villa is uptown, but a bit west of the main business district on Park Street. It's one of the main student hangouts for Tech and has an attached pizza restaurant with decent pizza.
  • Quarry Brewing Bar/Tasting 45 West Galena Street. +1 406-723-0245 Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 1:00pm-8:00pm. Brewer: Chuck Schnabel. Live music most Fridays.
  • The Finlen Hotel (100 E. Broadway, 1-800-729-5461) is an inexpensive and historic hotel, well-located to accommodate walking through the rest of Butte's downtown. Rooms are clean and well-maintained, but be aware that cheaper rooms may actually be located in the motel section, a not-as-historic add-on with much more spartan accommodations.
  • Hampton Inn Butte (3499 Harrison Avenue, 1-406-494-2250).
  • Toad Hall Manor an elegant, charming bed & breakfast which takes its name from the British children's classic, "The Wind in the Willows". This is truly a wonderful place for a relaxing change of pace, celebration of a special occasion, or a romantic getaway. Find more info online at
  • Butte War Bonnet Hotel (2100 Cornell Avenue, 1-406-494-7800)[8]
  • Super 8 (2929 Harrison Avenue I-90 Exit 127 1 Blk. So Butte, MT, 59701-3638 US) - charge extra for more than 2 adults even if it has 2 queen beds. Include breakfast.
Routes through Butte
Great FallsHelena  N noframe S  DillonIdaho Falls
Missoula  W noframe E  Three ForksBozeman
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also butte


Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:





  1. a city in Montana


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