The Butte played a significant role in the lives of the Prairie Indians. Aboriginal people, who camped near Boggy Creek, used the Butte as a lookout and signal point.
European settlement in the area can be traced back to the 1840s. With the construction of the railway through the region in 1882, the area’s sand and gravel deposits were extensively utilized, and in the following years, as settlers began farming in the district, Pilot Butte developed. For a long time of its history, Pilot Butte was known as the "Sand Capital of Canada". Because of its location on the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, significant settlement took place between 1880 and 1900. Sand and gravel deposits nearby were used during the construction of the railway. The history of Pilot Butte is marked by dramatic growth followed by decline and now by growth. Except for one or two houses on Railway Avenue, the most notable being the "Martin House", there are very few physical reminders of Pilot Butte's early development. Most of the original structures, one of the most prominent being the old Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) water tower, have either been dismantled or destroyed.
By 1913 Pilot Butte was a village. It flourished as it offered the Canadian Pacific Railway a reliable year round water source and at one point, the CPR built a water conduit to Regina. Between 1913-23, with a population of about a 1,000, Pilot Butte thrived. The town boasted a railway station, 3 grain elevators, a stockyard, the Kitchener Hotel and boarding houses. It had a pool hall, bowling alley, general store, butcher and blacksmith shops, 2 churches, 2 schools (nearby) and 2 section houses. Brickyards became major local employers; the brickyards closed during World War I however, and with automobiles facilitating easy transportation into Regina, Pilot Butte began to lose its population—a trend that would continue for years. In 1923, the village was disbanded owing to the loss of residents.
After the new Trans-Canada Highway was completed in the late 1950s, living in Pilot Butte began to become a popular option for those who wanted to commute to work in the city. Pilot Butte re-acquired village status in 1963; in 1966 the population was 405; but between 1976 and 1981, the community’s numbers jumped from 585 to 1,255. It achieved town status in 1979. In the summer of 2013, the town officially had a population of 2,100. Pilot Butte has a post office; a public library; an insurance office; two convenience stores; a cemetery; the Dosu Wok which is a Chinese/Canadian restaurant, the Blue Rooster Café and the Back Corner café; three manufacturing plants; a Domo Gasoline station; a hockey arena; a Town hall, a Roman Catholic Church; the Way of Life Church, a riding club, four superior baseball diamonds, an outdoor hockey rink, a skate park, a PharmaChoice pharmacy, doctor's office, hair salon and a Subway (restaurant) location. It is also home to a worldwide steel producing company Dutch Industries and Gang-nail Truss Manufacturers. The town is home to the Pilot Butte School. The Pre-K to Grade 8 school is part of the Prairie Valley School Division 208.
A violent storm hit the area on 26 August 1995, damaging most homes in the community. Pilot Butte has fully recovered and replanted trees are once more providing shade to the residents. Many homes received major facelifts which enhanced the community. The town continues to grow since.
The town is situated on a broad, flat, treeless and largely waterless plain. The Butte Hill is the highest point in the area.
Pilot Butte experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb, USDA Plant Hardiness Zone with warm summers and cold winters, prone to extremes at all times of the year. Average annual precipitation is 388 mm (15.28 in) and is heaviest from June through August, with June being the wettest month with an average of 75 mm (2.95 in) of precipitation. The average daily temperature for the year is 2.8 °C (37.0 °F). The lowest temperature ever recorded was −50.0 °C (−58.0 °F) on 1 January 1885, while the highest recorded temperature was 43.3 °C (109.9 °F) on 5 July 1937
According to the 2011 Canadian Census, the population of Pilot Butte is 1,848, a 1.3% decrease from 2006. The population density is 365.6 people per square km. The median age is 36.4 years old (34.8 for women and 37.9 for men), which is lower than the median age of Canada at 40.6 years old. As of 2011, most residents in Pilot Butte speak English (97%), and a small number speak French (1.1%). 1.6% of the population's mother tongue was something other than English or French; Polish (0.32%), Ukrainian (0.32%), Danish (0.32%), Hungarian (0.32%), German (0.32%) and languages from the Niger-Congo area (0.32%).. There are 700+ dwellings with an occupancy rate of 99.6%.
Residential neighbourhoods include the older, farther south part of town along the railroad - established in 1882 - that contains some older houses, the most notable being the "Martin House". Immediately north of that is the main part of town, where the gas station and many other services are. To the east is Inland park, containing the baseball diamonds and the Butte. In the north part of the town is the subdivision called The Plains of Pilot Butte, farther west, around the lake is the neighbourhoods of Discovery Ridge and Crescent Park. On the west half of town is Hillside Park and Willow Ridge, where the new café and car wash are located. Around of the town, outside of the borders but still nearby are the developments of Crawford Estates, Crawford Developments, Rock Pointe Estates, Stone Pointe Estates and Spruce Creek Estates.
Pilot Butte is a part of the federal riding of Regina Qu'Appelle, and has elected Andrew Scheer 5 elections in a row. In provincial politics, the town is the Indian Head-Milestone riding, with Don McMorris as the elected MLA. The next Pilot Butte mayoral election is scheduled to take place on October 26, 2016.
The Pilot Butte Storm, 4-time winners of the Prairie Junior Hockey League, play home games at the local rink in Pilot Butte. The team has played in the provincial championship ten years in a row (2006-2015). The Pilot Butte Broncos minor hockey teams had always played in the Mainline Hockey League but now the Prairie Storm Minor Hockey Association, (through Hockey Regina) has the local minor hockey teams. The Prairie Storm Minor Hockey Association teams have kids from Pilot Butte, Emerald Park, White City and Balgonie.
The White Butte Minor Ball Association offers Broncos Baseball and Storm Softball. In the town/area there is also Buffalo Plains Ringette, City View Skating Club, White Lightning Ringette, Pilot Butte Soccer, White Butte Minor Ball and the North Griffins in Regina Minor Football.
North-west of the city lies Kings Park Speedway, a ⅓-mile paved oval used for stock car racing since the late 1960s.
The town hosts the Annual Pilot Butte outdoor Rodeo on the third weekend of June every year, complete with cabaret featuring current country headline musicians. Pilot Butte also has the Golden Sunset Recreational Club (55+ Club), the Pilot Butte Beavers/Cubs/Scouts, a library, the Pilot Butte Photo Bunch and the Pilot Butte Riding Club. Every year, Pilot Butte hosts the “Lite-up Pilot Butte” Christmas decorating contest, which has been going on for 27 years. The town also has distributed the News and Views newsletter to Pilot Butte and the surrounding area since October 1987.Inland Park, a park bringing together lands containing recreational, educational and town buildings like the Town Hall, baseball diamonds, hockey rink and the public library.
Golfing, There are four nice golf courses surrounding the town. Westfalia, Green Acres, Murray and Tor Hill.
Discovery Ridge, a park surrounding the towns lake with a soccer field, nice scenery and biking and walking paths.
White Butte Trails, a nearby set of trails for cross-country skiing in the winter and biking and running in the summer.
Clayton Gerein - one of Canada's most successful Paralympians. Clayton has won 7 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals in 5 Paralympics.
Reuben Ross, who was raised here, has competed in the Olympics in Beijing and in London as a diving competitor.