Ward County High Point Trip Report

Date: April 21, 2003
Author: Jerry Brekhus

Heading south on Ward County Road 5, six miles or so south of Donnybrook you reach 184th Avenue NW which runs east-west. The road that continues south has a sign warning that the road receives only minimum maintenance. We tried to approach the high point area that way, but came to a closed gate, posted, more than a mile east of the high point.

Returning to 184th Avenue NW, we went west 2 miles where the road crosses a pond on a narrow grade. Then we proceeded up a rutted hill to the south. The tracks told the story of someone attempting that hill when it was wet and failing. In dry weather you can rather easily drive about a half mile south to a gravel pit. This gravel pit is shown on topo maps.

When we were there, no gravel trucks were hauling; no equipment was present; the pit was empty and quiet. It provided a convenient place to park, less than a mile from the 2,360+ ft hill, visible to the south-southeast as the westernmost of 3 hills/knolls each over 2,350 feet. We hiked a two-track road across rolling grassland in the general direction of our goal. At a point where the road was headed straight east we left the road, crossed a fence and picked our way among crocuses and ponds to the 3 hills and on to the top of the highest one. Open view in all directions. Hiking back to our vehicle, we discovered that we could follow the two- tracks the whole way. This added a few hundred yards of distance, but an open gate made a convenient way through the fence.

The hill described above is one of two hills in Ward County that top 2,360 feet. The other is at a now apparently uninhabited farm house just north of ND State Highway 50 about 7-1/2 miles west of Coulee. Visiting this one was quite trivial. Although the house appears to be unoccupied now and no one answered the door, a tractor and machinery parked in the yard were obviously still in use. The highest ground appeared to be in the grove of trees behind the house. We walked around back there and soon were on our way.