Custer County High Point Trip Report

Date: May 21, 2001
Author: Jerry Brekhus

Returning home from ND, we took a side trip to claim the high point of Custer County, Montana. Here are directions from Volborg, which is south of Miles City on MT 59. The Custer National Forest (Ashland Div.) map is helpful.

About 3 miles south of Volborg turn west on an all-weather gravel road. Set odometer to zero. At a well- marked junction with many ranchers' names bear right on Little Pumpkin Creek Road. At 12.3 miles turn right on the road to Liscom L.O. Here the road deteriorates rapidly to gumbo, which you do not want to be on in wet weather. In a tenth of a mile (at 12.4) there is a good road with a sign for Stacey Hall to the left. Follow the poorer road instead. At 14 miles turn left on the more-traveled road and proceed into a ranch. If anyone is home, you can inquire here about directions to Liscom Lookout and road conditions. The road to the lookout goes through their place.

At 17.3 miles is a junction in Custer Nat'l Forest. A sign indicates Liscom L.O. to the left. I shifted into 4-wheel drive and went about a quarter mile the opposite direction (right). There we parked on a flat spot off the road. High clearance vehicles can continue in dry weather, but we chose to hike from this point. A few miles along this road we encountered a "No Trespassing" sign and chose to leave the road and hike cross-country.

While making our way cross-country on national forest land we met a rancher on an ATV. He turned out to be the owner of Section 1 (the posted land). He was friendly and gave us permission to cross his land on our way back. He didn't mind us being there as long he knew about it and knew what we were up to. That's all he expects is that people come to his house and ask. The high point of Custer County lies about a quarter-mile from the Powder River County line. We hiked northwest on the ridge which extends southeast from the summit. We sat and ate our lunch on the spot that is a few feet higher than the rest of the terrain inside the highest contour.

Our hike back to our vehicle was easier. We made our way into Section 1 and onto ranch roads. Incidentally, the rancher said that the road to the west is a better road, but I cannot report on that, because we drove out the way we came in.

We saw many prairie dogs on this trip.