The Mountains of Colorado •
Two Buttes South Summit • Highpoint: Prowers County
• Two Buttes State Wildlife Area
• Raton Mesas

Two Buttes

Practicing my yoga
on the summit

Date: (1) May 29, 2002; (2) September 20, 2002 • Elevation: 4,711 feet • Prominence: 356 feet • Distance: 1.6 miles • Time: an hour or two • Gain: 330 feet • Conditions: Nice both times


The Two Buttes are a lonesome bluff rising suddenly from the flat rangelands of southeast Colorado. The bluff is a single hill with two summit caprocks, the southern one being highest. They are visible from many miles away and the hike is a fun diversion while in the area.

I was in Springfield, the main city of the southeast corner of Colorado. I could see the buttes easily, being about 10 miles from town. I needed gas, and also wanted a state atlas to help with the roads out this way. It was late in the day, about 4 p.m., the weather calm and still.

When I asked the counter lady if they sold any state maps or atlases, she looked at me like I was from Mars. She called someone and asked if they sold atlases (she had to ask me to pronounce the word for her). The person on the other end sounded equally confused. The conversation went something like this:

"(Her, to phone) Do we sell (aside to me) what are they called? (me: atlas) (her back to to phone) atlas? A road map ... a road map of the state ... yes, a state atlas ... of Colorado ... an atlas of Colorado ... Colorado ..." (it went on)

Meanwhile, I saunter to their little magazine rack and what's there: a Colorado DeLorme! They had one. So I bought it. She and her phonemate seemed to have not a clue what I was talking about.

With the atlas, I could track the roads better and not run up a dead end. I was able to get to the Two Buttes area with no problem. The hike went quickly and took about 30 minutes round trip. It is a strenuous but short hike, the best you're going to get for a hundred miles in any direction. It is a worthy little peak.

I camped that night somewhere in the hinterlands, then headed west toward the real mountains the next day.

In September, I returned to the area as part of the 2002 Highpointers Convention, in Kenton, Oklahoma, which is about 50 miles from here. A bunch of us convened to hike the county highpoints in the area, including Two Buttes. My photos at left are from this second visit.

All of us took turns on the top and we had a leisurely couple hours in the area. From here, we headed into Kansas for some county highpoints there. I wonder if that lady in Springfield was still on the phone asking about a "road atlas"?

(c) 2002-2020 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.