Weather Forecast


Hot spots to check out: Six of the top 10 places to see in southwestern North Dakota

FNS File Photo Photo in the background is of Little Missouri National Grassland. It's the largest grassland in the country and is located west of Medora.1 / 3
FNS File Photo Lake Sakakawea is located more than two hours north of Dickinson, but it's still a prime location for camping, fishing and boating.2 / 3
AP Photo White Butte is the highest natural point in North Dakota. The butte is located three miles east of Highway 85 and six miles south of Amidon.3 / 3

With the weather temperatures starting to heat up and spring coming in full bloom, I've decided to do a top 10 list of outdoor places to check out in southwest North Dakota.

This week will be six through 10, while next week I'll tackle two through five and the week after will focus on number one.

The list is not only for people who have lived in southwest North Dakota for a number of years, but for the newcomers to the area.

No. 6: White Butte

In my many travels as a sports reporter for The Dickinson Press, the trek from Dickinson to Bowman on Highway 85 gives people the chance to see the highest natural point in North Dakota -- White Butte.

With an elevation of 3,506 feet, it is a point that's hard to miss. The butte is located three miles east of Highway 85 and six miles south of Amidon.

Though there's no set fee for hiking up White Butte, contributions of $5 are welcome to help maintain the area.

No. 7: Lake Tschida

To those that are frequent observers of The Dickinson Press' outdoors page, Lake Tschida is consistently listed in the Dakota Recreation Report.

Lake Tschida is a reservoir created by the Heart Butte Dam. There are around 3,400 acres of water surface and about 55 miles of shoreline.

The lake is named after the first mayor of Glen Ullin, Michael Tschida Sr., who was elected in 1906 and helped get the Heart Butte Dam project started.

Though Lake Tschida might be a gem in southwest North Dakota, it's a popular fishing, camping and boating spot.

No. 8 Little Missouri National Grasslands

Jump in the car, drive west less than an hour and just west of Medora to see the largest grassland in the country.

The Little Missouri National Grasslands measures at nearly 1.03 million acres and is nestled along the west side of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

White Butte, which was No. 6 on the list, is located in southeast corner of the Little Missouri National Grasslands. The grasslands stretches through four counties -- McKenzie, Billings, Slope and Golden Valley.

No. 9: Lake Sakakawea

Though Lake Sakakawea is more than a two-hour drive north, many residents of southwest North Dakota make the trip for camping, fishing and boating.

Lake Sakakawea is the largest man-made lake in North Dakota and third largest in the country.

If residents don't want to travel that far to go boating, there's always traveling to Patterson Lake, Indian Creek Dam, which happens be to No. 10 on the list and Lake Tschida (No. 7).

No. 10: Indian Creek Dam

The Indian Creek Dam is off the beaten path, but a prime fishing locating nearly Regent.

The area is nearly 200 acres and almost 30 feet in the deepest part of the lake. It has camping enmities, while fishing can expect walleyes, peach and bluegills. Jeff Hendrickson, a North Dakota Game and Fish Department southwest district fisheries supervisor, said at times there's pretty good fishing for all of them.

For the people fishing, there's a fishing pier, a boat ramp, plenty of shoreline and picnic areas, but there's no live bait allowed.