Ozark County High Point Trip Report

8 areas on Gainsville NW, Smallet, and Protem NE quadrangles

Date: October 11, 2002
Author: Hans Haustein

There are eight areas listed but I think you can reduce it to one area.

To reach the 4 areas near Gainsville, take Highway Y from its intersection with Highway 5 east 1.6 miles to Romance where the pavement ends continue east following the signs for the conservation area for 2.8 miles where the road ends at a posted gate with a gravel parking area. Three of the four areas near Gainsville are located south of this parking area. The first area is reached by following a old road trace south into the Conservation Area (CA) for about 0.16 mile to a overgrown cleared area just off of the old road. Foot traffic only is allowed in the CA. The second area is about 1/10 of a mile south of the first area along a ridge. The second area is also in a overgrown clearing.

The third area is about 1.75 miles as the crow flies from the second area to the south, but returning to the old road and following it to the southwest, then south, then to the southeast it is a probably about 2.25 miles. About 0.25 mile from the third area the old road passes a gate onto a well traveled gravel road at a overlook called West Vista (nice views!). This area could be driven to from the east side of the CA, but I am unsure of the route. The third area is located in a area just south of a fork in the road in a wooded area. (Note: The roads shown on the DeLorme atlas for the CA are there but maybe gated and open to foot traffic only.)

Returning to the gravel parking area by the posted gate, continue past the gate to the east up a hill to the location of the old Romance look-out, this is the forth area and has a spot elevation of 1490 feet. The tower is no longer there but there is a hunting camp with assorted buildings on the summit along with some communications towers. No one was there and there were no dogs either. The summit area is relatively flat with a few candidates for the highest point. I believe this is the high point of Ozark County.

The other four areas in the county are located in the northwest corner of the county along the Skyline Drive (it is a National Forest Scenic Drive). Beginning at the junction of National Forest Roads (NFR) 145 and 147, go east on NFR 145 for 0.2 mile the HP is located north of the road, there were some unnatural humps. The next area is 0.3 mile to the east and is also north of the road. Both areas are in wooded areas.

The next two areas are located southwest of the 145 and 147 NFR intersection. Follow NFR 147 to the southwest 0.8 mile to its junction with County Rd 943, stay on NFR 147 for 1.8 miles to the southwest to the next HP it is also in the woods north of the road. The final area reached is to the southwest 2.2 miles to a pronounced hill/summit to the west of the road. Go up a steep hill side about 0.15 mile to the summit, this is the highpoint of Taney County and the eighth area for Ozark County.

The Old Lookout Tower location is where I would say the highest point in Ozark County is located. The other seven areas had little elevation gain from the edge of the 1480-foot contour, maybe 3 to 5 feet at most. If you are highest-contour purest, hit them all. If not, you can be confident in the old look-out being the highest point.