Guthrie County High Point Trip Report

seventeen areas (1,500+ ft)

Date: January 19, 2004
Author: Bob Schwab

There are 17 contours in the southwestern corner of Guthrie County that top 1500+ feet elevation. The only time of year that is feasible to visit all of them is when the fields are bare and frozen (preferably without snow). I visited all of them in a single day, but the wind chills in the -10 F to -20 F range made me feel I was on an arctic expedition with some long walks into the fields. All areas can be approached from the town of Adair.

four areas along 330th Street (1,500+ ft)

Exit I-80 at Adair (exit 76) and drive north 2.75 miles to 330th Street. After driving through Adair, you will cross into Guthrie County just north of St. Johnís Catholic Church (see Adair County report). Continue driving due north on N-54 when the main paved road turns sharply to the right. Once you arrive at 330th Street, turn left (west) and drive 0.6 mile (passing a large tower on your right) to the vicinity of a metal shed in a field to your right. There is no sign of the old tower shown on the topo map. Park here and hike north to visit the three contours in the bean field (southern half of section 21). There is also one contour to the south of the road in a cornfield (section 28). After visiting these spots and making several hand level sightings (itís hard holding the level still when your hands are freezing!), I concluded that the highest ground among this cluster was roughly in the center of the large contour in the bean field.

four areas along Elm Avenue (1,500+ ft)

Continue driving west 0.4 mile on 330th Street to Elm Avenue. Turn right (north) on Elm and drive another 0.8 mile to a spot where the road crests with two low banks on either side of the road. Of these two tiny contours, the east bank is slightly higher ground. There is another (more "lofty" per hand level) contour out in the bean field to the east. This spot is best approached from the farm off from 320th Street. Ask permission at the brick farmhouse (#1412, 320th Street) and hike due south from the house into the field. Visit the fourth contour by going north on Elm 0.25 mile from the intersection with 320th Street. Park at the northern brow of the hill on Elm, and hike west into another bean field. This contour is somewhat east of the power line and is not very obvious.

two areas in section 7-78N-33W (1,500+ ft)

Continue north on Elm Avenue for 0.75 mile to 310th Street (paved). Turn left onto 310th and drive west for 1 mile to Dogwood Avenue. Turn north onto Dogwood and drive another 0.75 mile. Park near a yellow school bus stop sign (buildings on the topo are gone) and enter the bean field to the west. There is a second contour to the northwest, but it is lower than the first spot, per hand level sighting. Both of these contours are lower than the large area to the north in section 6.

six areas in section 6-78N-33W (1,500+ ft)

Continue north on Elm for 0.25 mile to 300th Street. Turn left on 300th (signed as a mud road) and drive 0.5 mile to the half-section line. There is an abandoned farm about 0.25 mile west and a stand of pine trees. I hiked north into the field here, following the half-section line at first (separates corn and bean fields), but then veering northwest. This is a very large and high contour. Hand level sightings indicate equally high ground to the north. After returning to your car, continue west to Union Avenue and turn right (north). Go north on Union about 0.5 mile to a gate on your right (no buildings now), where you can easily enter the field and visit a small contour just north of the pond, and then continue east to explore the more northerly part of the large contour mentioned above. Once you get back to your car, continue north on Union to 290th Street. Turn left and go east on 290th about 0.25 mile and park along the edge of the road. You may want to stop by the farmhouse and introduce yourself (but no one was home the day I visited) so they will know why youíre there.

From this spot, you can do hand level sightings in all directions. I hiked south into the cornfield, even though the area near the road seemed as high as anything. There is also a tiny contour (not really obvious) that sits between this area and the large contour to the south. The contour that straddles the road also extends to the north (bean field), and an adjacent contour (north of the farmhouse and east of Union Ave) also sights and feels quite high. You can either hike northwest into this area or move your car to Union Avenue and hike east. One of these two big contours, or the large one in the southern part of section 6 is probably the true highpoint of Guthrie County. There is also one very small contour about 0.3 mile north from the 290th/Union intersection in the field to the east, but you donít need to visit it because it is clearly lower.

one small area in section 30-78N-33W (1,500+ ft)

From the intersection of Union Avenue and 290th Street, drive south on Union for about 4.6 miles. At 2 miles, the main road swings left (east) but keep going due south. Watch for a gate on your left at a crest in the road. Enter the field to the east (corn/bean stubble) and wander around. It is obvious (after visiting section 6) that this spot is not the county highpoint!