Kuna Butte

Elevation: 3,263 ft

Kuna Butte is a large volcanic formation located just south of Kuna, Idaho on the west side of the Swan Falls Dam Road. The views from the butte are expansive.

The butte is located in an area designated as part of the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey Preserve. This area can see heavy use by dirt bikes and off road vehicles on weekends. As a result there is an extensive road system on the butte which makes for easy access to the summit area. The roads make good trails for mountain biking and hiking.

Drive south from Kuna on the Swan Falls Road to access the butte. Two, easy to spot, roads lead to the summit from this road. Both are rough and I recommend a high clearance vehicle if you are going to start closer than the paved road.

The northern most road leaves the highway just south of the Kuna water treatment settling ponds which are marked by a string of pine trees along the road. Take the first right after passing the pine trees and reaching the sagebrush.

The southernmost road is the best of the two and less steep than the northern road. I recommend it, especially  if you plan to mountain bike to the top. This road is found a couple of hundred yards south of a small BLM interpretation site.

Kuna Butte viewed from Initial Point. Kuna Butte is akin to a shield volcano with its wide base and gentle rise.

Kuna Butte viewed from Initial Point. Kuna Butte is akin to a shield volcano with its wide base and gentle rise.

The butte is a nice, large natural area and a good hiking and mountain biking destination if you visit on a day with out motorcycles and ATVs. Given the size of the butte and its gentle, undulating terrain a person could spend a lot of time exploring its many recesses.

The summit of Kuna Butte from the southwest.

The summit of Kuna Butte from the southwest.

Kuna Butte covers a lot of area and the summit has many high points. With a bit of management it could be an outstanding natural area.

Kuna Butte covers a lot of area and the summit has many high points. With a bit of management it could be an outstanding natural area.

This is a GPS track of a 4.0 mile December 2017 hike which demonstrates that you can put in some decent miles hiking around the butte’s slopes.

This is a GPS track of a 4.0 mile December 2017 hike which demonstrates that you can put in some decent miles hiking around the butte’s slopes.

The summit of Kuna Butte is on the left.

The summit of Kuna Butte is on the left.

The defaced benchmark on the summit.

The defaced benchmark on the summit.

 

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Snake River Plain

Year Climbed: 2015

Longitude: -116.44778   Latitude: 43.44549

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