Dunn County Highpoint Trip Report

Killdeer Mountains

Date: April 29, 2008
Author: Edward Earl

Permission to hike in the Killdeer Mtns is required. The ranch that includes most of the summit ridge as well as the S flank of the range, which provides the most convenient access, is owned by the Dvirnak family. The Dvirnaks are gracious and are happy to grant hiking permission to anyone who asks. They can be reached at 701-863-6730 or 701-590-2725.

The Dvirnak ranch was once occupied by a band of Sioux indians, who were driven away by a US Army battalion in 1864. A historical site near the ranch entrance commemorates the event. The Dvirnaks have been collecting and preserving indian artifacts on the ranch for several decades, and they ultimately plan to donate their collection to a university museum. They are proud of the fact that their property is a showcase of a piece of wild west history, and their stewardship is mirrored by their gracious attitude toward recreation.

Mr. Dvirnak provided me with directions to his ranch, which is the complex of buildings N of the center of section 33. I met him at our appointed time, We had a short and friendly conversation, and then I set out on highpointing business.

I ascended the hills to the saddle immediately NE of the center of section 28, from where I followed a jeep road N onto the undulating summit ridge. First I visited the two SE areas, then the two N areas, then the remaining areas in order from E to W. When I reached the southwesternmost area (with the Killdeer BM on it), I was able to observe all other areas in profile. From this vantage point, it is clear that the two southeasternmost areas are higher on the horizon than all others. Thus, the 11 3280+ candidate areas can be narrowed down to only three: the two SE areas and the Killdeer BM area. A visit to only these 3 areas is sufficient to claim the Killdeer Mtns HP (and the Dunn coHP). Of course, one has to pass very near most of the other areas anyway in transit between the Killdeer BM area and the two SE areas, but the two northernmost areas can be avoided.