Twin Falls County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: September 11, 2008
Author: Jerry Brekhus

Betty and I visited the highpoint candidates, having been foiled by a wildfire last year.

Here are some field observations concerning which hill is higher.

1. Hand level (1X) from the southwest hill to the northeast hill indicated the northeast higher by several feet. These hills are only 500 yards apart, so earth curvature and refraction are insignificant.

2. Hand level from northeast to southwest again indicated northeast easily higher.

3. GPS-averaged readings (more than 300 samples each) with a Garmin GPSmap 60 in fair weather with excellent satellite coverage and unobstructed visibility (NAD83 datum) -

Northeast hill: 7855 feet at (41° 59' 58.9" N, 115° 1' 57.3" W)
Southwest hill: 7846 feet at (41° 59' 52.5" N, 115° 2' 15.6" W)

And here are some map observations.

Maps (featuring overlapping quads)

4. Elk Mountain shows 7832 for the southwest hill, 7840+ for the northeast hill. Provisional Edition, 1986. This is what you see if look at ACME 2.0.

5. The older Curtis Draw quad shows both hills at 7840+, 1980. This map shows the hills as nearly tied, but does favor the northeast hill slightly, in that the highest contour is larger, and neither hill is particularly sharp. If you have a high-speed Internet connection, you can download this map to see for yourself. The link is found on the CoHP home page listed as "entire 7.5' quads" under "More Useful Links".


6. Northeast hill: Elevation 7839.40 feet at (41° 59' 59.88" N, 115° 01' 57.71" W)

7. Southwest hill: Elevation 7820.08 feet at (41° 59' 52.14" N, 115° 02' 15.89" W)

I believe it is necessary to visit just the northeast hill to claim this county HP. Of course, it is so easy that highpointers will generally climb both hills anyway but if you happen to be surprised by a sudden thunderstorm, you may want to make a hasty exit after visiting the northeast hill.

Interestingly, we found a register only on the lower, southwest hill. Several of the usual names were present. Perhaps it should be relocated to the northeast hill. I suppose there could have been a register buried in one of the cairns on the northeast hill that we failed to find. There are two cairns a few yards apart on the northeast hill. Presumably a later party found one of the cairns to be a few inches short of the true top of the hill and placed a new one.

The trip report by Ken Jones was our guide to get there. Last year, the road was closed some twenty miles short of our goal due to a wildfire. This time we were able to drive the roads described in Ken's trip report. At one of the cattle guards there was a green sign-in box, where we signed in. (I think it was the 4.9-mile cattle guard but I forgot to make a note of it so it could be higher up the road.) It might be intended just for anglers and hunters but we signed in anyway. This HP trip crosses private land with access granted and I hope that it will continue to be accessible in the future.