Initial Point Butte

Elevation: 3,240 ft

Initial Point is a small volcanic rememnant that rises roughly 350 feet out of the Snake River Plain eight miles south of Kuna, Idaho. The butte is famous because it was the staring point for the first government survey of Idaho, thus, the name “initial Point.” The first survey was under the direction of Lafeyette Cartee.

This shot shows the east side of the Butte. The 4WD road climbs of this side starting in the lower left quadrant of the Butte.

This shot shows the east side of the Butte. The 4WD road climbs up this side of the butte, starting in the lower left quadrant of the Butte.

The viewing platform on the summit,.

The viewing platform on the summit,.

Ground Zero for all Idaho surveys.

Ground Zero for all Idaho surveys.

While this volcanic butte is not very impressive today, geologist believe that 1.3 million years ago lava pouring from it was sufficient to dam up the Snake River and change its course.

Follow Swan Falls Road south from Kuna for roughly 7.8 miles until you see the BLM sign pointing you to the very obvious butte. A gravel and then 4WD road leads to its summit where you will find an observation deck and survey marker. To make the ascent a little more sporting, I turned off the Swan Falls Road, parked and rode my mountain bike to the top in 1.25 miles.

USGS Initial Point

Mountain Range: Snake River Plain

Longitude: -116.3939   Latitude: 43.3720

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