Missouri Buttes

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Missouri Buttes
Grabill - Little Missouri Butte.jpg
Little Missouri Butte, The tallest of the buttes, as seen in 1890
Highest point
Elevation5,374 ft (1,638 m) [1]
Prominence1,204 ft (367 m) [1]
Coordinates44°36′57″N 104°46′29″W / 44.61583°N 104.77472°W / 44.61583; -104.77472Coordinates: 44°36′57″N 104°46′29″W / 44.61583°N 104.77472°W / 44.61583; -104.77472[2]
Missouri Buttes is located in Wyoming
Missouri Buttes
Missouri Buttes
Parent rangeBlack Hills
Topo mapUSGS Missouri Buttes, WY

Missouri Buttes are located in Crook County in northeast Wyoming on the northwest flank of the Black Hills Uplift. The buttes are 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northwest (N60°W) of Devils Tower between the Little Missouri and the Belle Fourche rivers.[3]

Topographic map of the Missouri Buttes area

The Missouri Buttes consist of four separate summits which arise from an eroded mesa platform, the Butte Divide, which has an elevation of 4,650 feet (1,420 m). The butte peaks form a rough rectangle 0.5 x 0.65 mi. in size. The northwest butte is the highest with a summit at 5,374 feet (1,638 m). The northeast butte has an elevation of 5,212 feet (1,589 m), the southwest butte has an elevation of 5,020 feet (1,530 m) and the southeast butte has an elevation of 5,055 feet (1,541 m). A small lake, the Missouri Buttes Lake, lies 800 metres (2,600 ft) west of the buttes.[4]

As with Devils Tower, the buttes are composed of igneous intrusive phonolite which exhibits columnar jointing. The rocks of the buttes have been interpreted to be part of a laccolith, a magmatic stock or volcano conduits that became exposed at the surface after overlying rocks eroded away.[5]

Devils Tower (right) and Missouri Buttes (left) on the horizon, viewed from the divide of Cabin Creek, 12 miles south. 1908 USGS photograph


  1. ^ a b "Missouri Buttes, Wyoming". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
  2. ^ "Missouri Buttes". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
  3. ^ United States Geological Survey, Devils Tower Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana; 30x60 min. USGS Quadrangle 1979
  4. ^ United States Geological Survey, Missouri Buttes Quadrangle, Wyoming-Crook Co., 7.5 minute series, 1984
  5. ^ Zavada, P., et. al., On the geological origin of Devils Tower (WY, USA), American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2011, abstract #V33C-2659