Fallon County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: April 30, 2008
Author: Edward Earl

On MT-7 at mile 13.5 between Baker and Ekalaka, I turned E on Webster Rd, which is well-graded gravel. Zero your odometer here. At 2.9 miles I turned R (S) on Old Baker Hwy. This road is identified as Rd 19 on DeLorme. At 4.4 miles I turned L (E) on Fletcher Creek Trail. The road curves around to the S and reaches a T-junction at 5.6 miles. I turned L (E) here. At 6.6 miles I turned R (S) at an unsigned intersection. At 7.3 miles is an unsigned fork, where I went L. The road heads briefly E and soon resumes its southerly course. at 9.1 miles, I passed a small green sign saying that right to pass is by courtesy of owner and also says no hunting or trespassing. It identifies the owner as Melvin Wolenetz & Sons Inc and provides their phone numbers 406-775-6704 and 406-975-6589. At 10.2 miles the road ends at an abandoned ranch. The only structures in the area are a large barn, a house, a small shack, and two corrugated metal cylindrical storage buildings. One is large and horizontal, the other is small and upright. The only vehicle was a large bulldozer parked off to the right. None of the structures showed evidence of recent use. This is the building complex near the NW corner of section 30. All roads up to this point are well-graded gravel and suitable for any street legal vehicle.

I parked by the ranch and continued S on foot, following farm vehicle tracks. The "road" heads S and turns W up a side gully. Near the saddle halfway between the center and E side of section 25 is a large tire lying on its side, now used as a water tank. Here the road turns sharply L, away from the tracks shown on the map, heading SW. The tracks pass through a gap in the fence on the border between sections 25 and 36. The tracks then fade gradually as they descend into a broad valley. I passed by a prairie dog colony soon before crossing the dam at the W end of the lake just W of the center of section 36. I continued SW, passing between two small rock outcrops (one of which has a profile reminiscent of Stonehenge), crossed a shallow gully, and eventually arrived at point 3571, which has fences going in all 4 compass directions. I carefully negotiated the fence headed N from point 3571. A short walk uphill to the W leads to the eastern candidate HP area, and an easy stroll from there leads to the western area.

Signs in the vicinity identify the property as a wildlife management area. It is mostly a wilderness; the only human evidence is an occasional fence or jeep track, the tire tank, the dam that creates the lake just W of the center of section 36, and numerous cowpiles. The cowpiles are all quite old and are being taken over by dandelions. The vegetation is natural.