Ida County High Point Trip Report
22 areas (1,540+ ft)
Date: March 13, 2004
Author: Bob Schwab
five areas in section 14-86N-39W
From Denison and US 59, drive 13.75 miles north on Route 39 to an intersection
with Route M-31 (Buchanan Avenue) on the county line. Continue north for 4.3
miles on M-31 as it jogs west, then north again. Stop and park at the blue
water tower on your left. From here, you can hike west and northwest into the
cornfield to explore three large contours and 2 small ones in section 14.
It was awfully windy when I was there but I think my shaky hand level checks
indicated the second area to the west (from the road) was the highest of the five.
Certainly the three large ones are all worth visiting (the two tiny ones
are clearly lower).
five areas in section 13-86N-39W
Cross the street from the blue water tower and climb the bank to inspect an area
close to the road. From here, hike northeast and east (to stay on the highest ground)
as you aim toward the lonely tree in the center of section 13.
There are two areas out there. One is quite small (and insignificant) and sits
southeast from the tree. The other contour in the center of section 13 feels
pretty high and the tree is about the highest spot out there. From here, you
can sight to the northeast to two low rises out in the bean fields which make up
the final two areas. I explored these by returning to my car, driving north 0.7
mile to D-59 (300th Street) and then going east 0.75 mile to a pull-off on the
3/4 section line. From here, it was a relatively easy (but somewhat muddy)
stroll south and southwest to visit these two "bean" areas.
six areas in section 12-86N-39W
From your parking spot on D-59, continue east to Buchanan Avenue and turn north.
Go 0.3 mile, passing a nice brick house (the woods are gone) and park in a field
pull-in on your left. You will feel pretty high right here, standing on a large
contour in the cornfield. To the southwest about 0.25 mile is another large contour.
Directly west 0.25 mile is a narrow area (hand level indicates itís lower),
and about 0.3 mile northwest along the ridge is yet another high-feeling contour.
Plan a circular hike to visit all four of these areas from your
parking spot. Also from your parking spot, hike 0.2 mile north up Buchanan
Avenue to the next mini-crest in the road. This area is where the ridge is
descending from the east. This area is clearly lower than where youíve parked
your car. To visit the final area in this section, drive north to 290th Street
and turn left. Go west 0.5 mile, past two bins and park at the 1/2 section line
(corn west, beans east). Hike south about 0.25 mile (on the least muddy side of
the line) to the diagonal contour. The three big contours to the south all
four areas in sections 2/11-86N-39W
Drive west on 290th Street to M-31. Cross the road and continue west up the
hill to where the road crests. There is a field access spot on the south where
you can park and explore the first two areas. The northeast corner of the first
contour is high ground. The second area, out in the bean field is lower,
but both can easily be visited at this time of year. Drive east to the 1/2 section
line and park again. Two small spots sit out in the cornfield to your northwest.
They are not high, but can be easily hiked to from here.
two areas about 4 miles south of Ida Grove
From the intersection of US 59 and Route 175 near Ida Grove, go south on US 59
for 2.35 miles to 280th Street. Turn right on 280th and go west 2 miles to M-15.
Turn left on M-15 and go south about 0.8 mile to a crest in the highway with
field access to your right. Park here and hike northwest in the terraced
cornfield along the high ridge for 0.4 mile to high ground. A second area is
directly north about 0.2 mile (but seems a bit lower). It was extremely windy
when I visited, but at least the soil wasnít sticky!