Izard County High Point Trip Report

Date: May 27, 2002
Author: Hans Haustein

Thompson Mtn (spot elevation 1,124 ft)

From Allison on the White River at the junction of Highway 9 and Highway 5, take Highway 9 to the east. Follow the twisting Highway 9 for 10.2 miles to a private drive on the north side of the road. The drive is signed Barrell Rock Road and has a mailbox with the name Connelly on it. The drive is gated and posted. I parked at the road and walked about 0.2 mile up the drive to a stone gate where I could see quite a few people working on a house and doing landscaping, I asked the first guy I saw who I need to talk to about accessing Thompson Mountain, he pointed to a guy on a back-hoe and said his name was Bill. I walked over and asked Bill (I didn't get his last name) if he owned Thompson Mountain and if I could hike to it. He said he didn't and said he thought that the Peterson's owned it. He then said they probably wouldn't mind me accessing the mountain. He then pointed out a small dirt track leading to the northwest from the stone gate and said I could park there and hike to the mountain, so I did. The dirt track ends at the top of the hill about 0.1 mile from the stone gate, I parked here. My GPS indicated the mountain was about 1/2 mile northwest of this location. I bushwhacked down the top of this hill about 0.2 mile to a saddle, to my surprise there was an old unfinished house, I called out but no one answered. I continued northwest past the house and started uphill bushwhacking. The route uphill took me through several rocky cedar glades and through somewhat open wooded areas. The summit area was covered in waist high grass among the trees. The summit comes to a gentle crest in the grassy area. There were no views do to the tree cover.

Pilot Knob Bench Mark (1,123 ft)

I was unable to climb Pilot Knob due to some access issues I am currently trying to resolve. The following is the trip report of my attempt.

To reach Pilot Knob from Barrell Rock Road that accessed Thompson Mountain continue east on Highway 9 for 9.3 miles to Melbourne. From the junction of Highway 9 and Highway 69, continue north on Highway 9 for 0.3 mile to Knob Creek Road (Paved) that intersects from the west. Turn on Knob Creek Road and go west for 2.1 miles where the road becomes gravel, continue 1.7 miles to a "T" intersection and go right. From the "T" intersection go 0.3 mile to another fork, go right. The road forks again after 0.7 mile, this time go left across a concrete ford. The road forks again after about 0.7 mile, go right.

After 0.3 mile the road comes to a gate, it was open, and another 0.3 mile the road ends at a house. Pilot Knob is clearly visible less than 1/4 mile to the northwest. I asked for permission from the landowner to climb Pilot Knob, but she said they didn't own it. She said that they used to own it but sold it to a man in Little Rock and he has a guy in Calico Rock that takes care of the land. The access issue is that there is a tall game fence that surrounds the knob and a caretaker that is not friendly per the conversation with the adjoining landowner. I am currently trying to contact the landowner here in Little Rock to obtain access.

Another side issue of Izard County is that after viewing the information on the bench mark on Pilot Knob its elevation was stated as 1122 feet not 1123 feet. Also the construction of the bench mark mounting was a 10-inch concrete post. From previous visits to highpoints with suitable rocks the BM is usually attached to a rock outcrop, with that said I deduce that there are no large rocks atop Pilot Knob, thus the highest point is most likely the BM, making Thompson Mountain higher than Pilot Knob. This is my meager justification at this point for reaching the highest point in Izard County, only a trip to the top of Pilot Knob will prove or disprove my hypothesis.