Otero County High Point Trip Report

Dry Bluff [unnamed on the topo] (5,260+ ft)

Date: June 29, 2000
Author: Fred Lobdell

This high point lies in the Comanche National Grassland. It is accessed by driving several miles on dirt roads, which may become muddy in wet weather. The main dirt road is not as straight as it is depicted on the sketch map, but if you stay on the main road you should have no problem. I parked at the lower of the two small reservoirs, as recommended in the guidebook.

There are five areas higher than 5,260 feet along the rim of the bluff that is visible to the north. The guidebook says that the westernmost of these, along the Las Animas county line (which is marked by a barbed-wire fence here), "appears to be" highest. A small cairn marks this spot, and as I approached, a pair of red-tailed hawks circled overhead. From this spot I hand-leveled to the other four areas. The westernmost area did indeed seem to be higher than the second or third areas to the west, but I wouldn't bet the mortgage payment on its being higher than the fourth or fifth areas. These latter two areas seemed to be about as high as the area by the county line, although the fifth area, more than a mile distant, was really beyond the distance for accurate hand-leveling. I walked the rim of the bluff to the fifth area, passing through the other areas en route. This is not difficult walking. Vegetation is largely scrubby junipers and occasional cacti; the junipers contained a bunch of nesting western kingbirds. I would recommend this course of action to others doing this HP, also. It would be nice if someone could drag some more accurate surveying instruments up here and determine which area really is the highest. All the areas are visible from each other.