Dawson County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: May 30, 2005
Author: Adam Helman

Note: All NAD27 UTM coordinates are in zone 13T.

This effort was part of a larger journey in late May through early June 2005.

The various possible highpoints of Dawson County are all accessed via a road that climbs the south flank of Mount Antelope and provides service to a set of radio towers. Start by driving on the county road grid to the Dawson / McCone County line, three miles south of Mount Antelope, at coordinates (469261 E, 5230006 N). Drive north on the deteriorating county road two miles to (469281 E, 5233217 N).

The road turns right (east) and begins to climb, eventually "topping out" within a few hundred meters of Mount Antelope's various hilltop summits with a radio mast.

Park at your convenience and hike the various hills to your satisfaction.

Continue north on the road to a second radio tower, located in one of the possible highpoint contours. Park here and hike to the ridge system immediately north as another highpoint contender. To do so do not hike northwest on the road, dropping into the gully heading northeast. The gully is thick with vegetation - at least in late May. Instead, strike out northeast directly from your vehicle, and follow the ridge system to the north, hitting the highest hills including the one at (470366 E, 5236289 N) as a highpoint contender.

Return in the vehicle south roughly one-quarter mile to a junction at (470523 E, 5235410 N) with a grassy two-track that leads south to spot elevation 3,474 feet. I drove the track about 400 meters south to a gate and walked the remaining distance to the spot elevation at (471049 E, 5234599 N) - a likely candidate for the true county highpoint.

Return in your vehicle to the aforementioned junction. Across the fence, and to the east, is a faint track that likely corresponds to the road on the topo chart heading east southeast. Regardless, it has deteriorated too much for driving. Walk cross-country (the road is not too useful) in the general direction of the remaining highpoint contenders about one mile east southeast. I recommend that, upon approach to the relevant contour areas, that you simply hike over every obvious hill and bump until satisfied.

Return to your vehicle, using as navigational aids both a small antenna that you passed nearby on the outbound walk, and, more distantly, the large radio mast that you parked immediately south of.