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 hand-level higher.

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!