Square Mesa Butte

Millarville, Alberta

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There are three main routes to the top of Square Butte. Loops of varying length can be made by using the trails in various permutations in conjunction with Curly Sand (#297), 9999 (#294) and the highway where the greatest danger is speeding pickups spitting gravel. Despite its unofficial status, it is, quite simply, the best half-day hike from the campgrounds. Is this ever a popular hill! People on foot, on horse, on bike, people sleeping on the top. Then there are the "Moonlight Hikers" from Millarville, Germans and Japanese from Max Gibb's place and Germans and Aussies taking part in Neil MacLaine's Palliser Challenge. On Thanksgiving night another group plods up with food, wine and candles for a little "Beethoven on the Butte". This is all true! You can spend hours reading the summit register put up there by Jim McLuskey whose house can be seen from the summit. He comes up every Christmas Day regardless of the weather. You've spotted the discrepancy in the name? When driving along Highway 762 through Square Butte district I've often puzzled over the name that appears on the community hall. I've gone over the topo map with a fine-tooth comb looking for a Square Butte in vain. Turns out Mesa Butte, which has been named as such on generations of topo maps, is officially "Square". The official "Mesa" is across the valley at Death's Head. To complicate matters further, Wheeler's map of 1895 calls it Mesa Hill.

Square (Mesa) Butte Professional Review and Guide

"There are three main routes to the top of Square Butte. Loops of varying length can be made by using the trails in various permutations in conjunction with Curly Sand (#297), 9999 (#294) and the highway where the greatest danger is speeding pickups spitting gravel. Despite its unofficial status, it is, quite simply, the best half-day hike from the campgrounds. Is this ever a popular hill! People on foot, on horse, on bike, people sleeping on the top. Then there are the "Moonlight Hikers" from Millarville, Germans and Japanese from Max Gibb's place and Germans and Aussies taking part in Neil MacLaine's Palliser Challenge. On Thanksgiving night another group plods up with food, wine and candles for a little "Beethoven on the Butte". This is all true! You can spend hours reading the summit register put up there by Jim McLuskey whose house can be seen from the summit. He comes up every Christmas Day regardless of the weather. You've spotted the discrepancy in the name? When driving along Highway 762 through Square Butte district I've often puzzled over the name that appears on the community hall. I've gone over the topo map with a fine-tooth comb looking for a Square Butte in vain. Turns out Mesa Butte, which has been named as such on generations of topo maps, is officially "Square". The official "Mesa" is across the valley at Death's Head. To complicate matters further, Wheeler's map of 1895 calls it Mesa Hill."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Millarville
Distance: 1.5
Elevation Gain: 198 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Duration: Half-day, short day hikes
Local Maps: Map 82 J / 15 Bragg Creek.
Driving Directions: Directions to Square (Mesa) Butte

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May 2018