Riley County Highpoint Trip Report

five areas including 1,526 ft BM Zean Dale (1,520+ ft)

Date: May 3, 2008
Author: Bob Schwab

one 1,520+ foot area north of I-70 in section 22-11S-9E

Leave I-70 at Exit 322 and go north just beyond the entrance ramp to a frontage road running to the west. Follow this road about 1 mile to its end at a corral complex with a Hess Ranch signpost. Cross the fence and hike north roughly 0.5 mile to the high spot in the pasture.

one area with BM Zean Dale (1,526 ft)

Return on the frontage road back to Exit 322 and turn left. Drive north and east as the road zigzags about 2 miles to the intersection of Tallgrass Road and Silverbell Road. Turn left on Silverbell Road and drive 1 mile west passing a blue water tower to a T intersection at spot elevation 1379. Park here, cross the gate to the west, and stay on the north side of the east-west fence for 1 mile to the section corner near the BM. There are four gates at the section corner which allow you to move from one field to the next but the highest ground appears to be near BM Zean Dale at 1526 feet which is about 20+ feet southwest of the section corner. You will also find RMs nearby along the east-west fence.

three 1,520+ foot areas south of I-70

Return to Interstate 70 and drive west to Exit 318. After exiting, drive south under the bridge and turn right onto a frontage road going west. After about 0.3 mile, this road turns south, crosses a cattle guard and enters an active oil field. Continue another 1.2 miles on the main road as it zigzags all the way to the top of the hill. Bear left (east) at the final Y up near the top and park at spot elevation 1461. Cross the gate in the fence and head southeast about 1 mile to the obvious high ground. After crossing a second fence, pick up a faint trace that leads up a gentle ridge. Once you gain the ridge, youre basically at the first of the three small areas. The path/trace follows the ridge around an inverted U shape. While the eastern area is the largest of the three, I liked the feel and view from the middle area the best.

I tried to get information and permission from the ranches/houses near the first two areas but no one was at home. None of these approaches are posted. I left a note of explanation on my car each time I hiked out into the pastures. Total hiking was about 5 miles.