Montgomery County High Point Trip Report
Date: March 11, 2001
This rather dramatic (for Kansas) highpoint is part of the Chautauqua Hills, a few-miles-wide sandstone
wedge. The mesa rises 100+ ft from the surrounding countryside.
From Elk City, travel on US 160 2.1 miles north (west on 160) to CR 1700. The junction is in a major
bend of 160. Turn right (north) on CR 1700, a good gravel road, 4.5 miles, turn left on an unmarked
gravel road. There is a newer (70's) house on the right. I stopped at the house and inquired about
ownership. The highpoint is owned by the Westfall Bros Auto Dealerships in Kansas City, and managed
by a Mark Garner, who lived about 8 miles away. Mr. McWilliams, who lived in the house, and was a
lifer in the area, didn't think the owners would mind my going up there (as long as if I was questioned, I
wouldn't say he had given permission). The owners do hunt quail on the mesa in season. You will
immediately descend 25' into a ravine, then back up 20'. The buildings shown on the topo on the north
side of the road are just ruins now. I parked along the road about a half mile from the junction - but
anywhere along the road is fine, just find a decent place to pull over.
I hopped the barbed wire fence, and headed up over the prairie, and ascended the 100' face of the mesa.
Once atop the mesa, head for the high ground in the center. I crisscrossed the top to make sure I got the
high area. I felt the highest ground was on the north end. From atop the mesa, there are sweeping 360
degree vistas - to the north was my favorite. I was glad it was cold and rainy, as the whole area looked to
be prime rattler country. There were numerous sandstone ledges and boulders on the climb up, and a lot
of sandstone on the top.
Author: Jon Mann