Iron County High Point Trip Report

Date: October 28, 2000
Author: Mike Schwartz

Approach: Drive about 5 1/2 miles east from Phelps, on WI 17, to where the road bends right. Look for large signs for the Smokey Lake Wilderness (SLW), leading onto Reserve Lane, which continues straight ahead. The large building shown on the topo is the SLW office. This is a 6,000 acre private hunting and recreation preserve, totally enclosed by the fence John Straw mentioned seeing during his visit to the area. Self-propagating herds of bison and elk, plus deer, roam the preserve. I visited with the manager, Mark Schwanke, who was quite hospitable and informative. He could not let me enter the preserve, because hunting was under way at the time, and this is prime season. The area closes for the winter, reopens May 1, and full-scale hunting commences on September 1. He would be willing, with advance arrangements made, to admit county highpointers, especially during the months of July and August. Both high point areas have clear cuts to facilitate hunting, and he says there are plenty of woods roads to simplify access. The telephone number is 715-545-2300.

I left Mr. Schwanke a copy of the Topozone printout, and followed up with a letter confirming that the two 1,880+ ft areas are indeed the high points. The SLW staff had been of the opinion that "Tower Hill", an unmarked 1,860+ ft area to the NE, was higher.