Otero County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: November 6, 2004
Author: Kevin Baker

We took US-50 East to CO-71 at Rocky Ford, then south to US-350 and southwest to the ghost town of Bloom. We noticed that some of the towns on the Delorme map no longer existed in this barren land. We saw the stone structures on the south side of the highway, then made the long drive up confusing ranch roads in the Comanche National Grassland to the first reservoir.

These roads would be nasty in muddy conditions, as evidenced by numerous ruts in the road. My odometer read 7 miles from the highway but we went right at one point when we should have stayed left.

We started our hike at noon, so we were keeping pretty close to my time projections so far. This is a pretty area although desolate, with plenty of junipers, bluffs, and jackrabbits. We also saw quite a few antelope in the area. We left the road when it started heading northwest, then we climbed the bluff and hit most of the 5,260-foot closed contours on the edge of the bluff. We gained the highpoint in about 40 minutes at the Las Animas-Otero fence line on the edge of the bluff.

There are great views of the Spanish Peaks, the Culebra range, Greenhorn, and Pikes Peak from here.

We dropped off the bluff and angled southeast back to the road. We were back at our car in 25 minutes (about 2.8 miles and 135 feet of elevation gain).