Since Pine Cone Butte sits across the road from the Pine Cone Picnic Shelter at Chadron State Park, it is very easy to hike up to the base and explore. The short trail up to the base from the state park roadway leads to a couple of climbing routes to the top. It is very apparent from the hand holds worn into the rock, that this butte has been climbed many times during the 90+ years of the state park's existence.
During the major forest fires of 2012, many of the trees around the lower slopes of the butte were fire damaged. Some were lost, while others look like they may yet survive. Years ago, some people called the butte "Future Butte", and a postcard was even issued with that name attached (see gallery below). Pine Cone Butte sits on the end of a ridge that winds around through the central part of the state park. Further along the ridge, hikers will travel by Split Rock Butte. Further yet, one of the buttes, situated across from the Sawmill Shelter, has a small rock arch at the top.