Skip to Content

Plateau Vs Butte Vs Mesa: What’s The Difference?

Plateau Vs Butte Vs Mesa: What’s The Difference?

Plateau Vs Butte Vs Mesa: What’s The Difference?

The landscape of the United States is littered with mountains, but what are they and what do they mean? In this article, we’ll be exploring the three most common types of mountain ranges in the United States – Plateau, Butte, and Mesa. We’ll also discuss what sets them apart and why you might want to visit one if you’re ever in the area.

What is a Plateau?

A plateau is a high, dry area of land that typically experiences less precipitation than the surrounding lower areas. Plateaus can be found in many locations around the world and often occur where two mountain ranges or other features come into contact.

There are several different types of plateaus, including the dissected plateau, isolated plateau, terminal plateau, monocline plateau, and dissected monocline. Each type has its own unique features and benefits.

The isolated plateau is the most common type and is characterized by large expanses of flat land with few natural obstacles between it and surrounding valleys or mountains. This type of plateau is perfect for agriculture because it has plenty of room to grow crops and there is little risk of flooding or landslides.

The dissected plateau is similar to the isolated plateau but is divided by deep ravines or gorges. This type of plateau is ideal for hunting and camping because it provides plenty of opportunities for adventure and exploration.

The terminal plateau is the least common type and is found at the end of a mountain range or other feature. This type of plateau is typically very rugged and mountainous, making it difficult to access. However, this type of plateau makes the perfect location for a ski resort or other type of tourist attraction.

The monocline plateau is the most unique type and is found where two mountain ranges or other features come into contact. This type of plateau is characterized by deep valleys and steep cliffs, making it difficult to travel across. However, this type of plateau is perfect for hiking and climbing because it offers a variety of challenging terrain.

What is a Mesa?

A Mesa is a type of mountain that is found in the American Southwest. The peaks of mesas typically have cliffs, ridges, and arches that make them look like plateaus from a distance. Mesas are usually much larger than buttes or mountains, measuring up to hundreds of square miles in size.

The main difference between mesas and buttes is that mesas are formed by layers of sedimentary rock that were laid down over time. Buttes, on the other hand, are formed by solid rock that is exposed at the surface. Buttes often have steep slopes on all sides, making them look like isolated mountains.

What is a Butte ?

A butte is a type of mountain in the Western United States, characterized by steep slopes and sharp peaks. Buttes can be found in Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico. The term “butte” comes from Spanish and means “a small hill.” 

What are the Best Foods for a Plateau, Butte, or Mesa Diet?

The best foods for a plateau, butte, or mesa diet are different than the best foods for a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. The best foods for a plateau, butte, or mesa diet are high in healthy fats and proteins and low in carbs.

This is because the goal of a plateau, butte, or mesa diet is to get your body into ketosis. Ketosis is a state where the body uses fat instead of carbs for energy. When you’re in ketosis, your body burns fat instead of carbs for energy and you lose weight. Here are the best foods for a plateau, butte, or mesa diet:

1. High-fat options: fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds
2. High-protein options: eggs, meat, poultry, fish
3. Low-carbohydrate options: green vegetables, low-carb fruits, and berries 4. Moderation: finding the right balance of macronutrients is key to success on a plateau, butte, or mesa diet If you’re not in ketosis, don’t eat these foods on a plateau, butte, or mesa diet. Instead, eat healthy fats and proteins with minimal carbs.

The Difference Between Plateau, Butte, and Mesa

When looking at the topography of a place, Plateau, Butte, and Mesa are all similar in terms of their general shape. However, there are some key differences between these three types of terrain. Here’s a quick look at what they are and what they mean for hiking and climbing.

Plateau: Plateaus are generally highlands with gentle slopes on all sides. They offer great views and plenty of opportunities for hiking and climbing but can be tough to get to if you don’t know where to find them. There are a few notable exceptions – the Wasatch Plateau in Utah is one of the most popular in the US, while The Rocky Mountains boast dozens of unnamed plateaus across Canada and the US.

Butte: Buttes are volcanic hills that have been flattened by wind and water erosion. They look like small mountains from a distance, but closer inspection will reveal that the peak has been eroded away completely. Buttes make great destinations for hiking, camping, and mountain biking because they have plenty of flat areas for these activities as well as steep cliffs and ridges for exploring. The Black Buttes in Colorado are an excellent example of this type of terrain.

Mesa: mesas are flat-topped mountains or hills that are generally shorter than buttes or plateaus. They make great locations for settlements because they have plenty of good farmland and water sources. Some notable mesas include the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau.

Mesa is flat-topped mountain that is composed of soil and rock that have been eroded over time. While they don’t offer the dramatic scenery of Buttes or the ruggedness of Plateaus, mesas are a great option for hiking and climbing because they are large and offer plenty of space to explore. The Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico is an excellent example of a Mesa landscape.


If you’re ever wondering what the difference is between a plateau, butte, and mesa, this article should help clear things up for you. Basically, all three terms refer to different stages of success that often accompany weight loss efforts.

When your weight loss begins to slow or level off, it’s usually because you’ve hit a plateau. However, if your weight loss continues even after hitting the plateau stage, it may be time to move on to the next phase: the butte phase.

Finally, when your weight loss journey reaches its final destination and you’ve lost all the excess fat and inches around your waistline (or wherever else you want them!), congratulations – you’ve reached the mesa stage!