Wells County Highpoint Trip Report

two areas (2,250+ ft)

Date: October 10, 2005
Author: Bob Schwab

From the Route 36/Route 3 intersection just east of Tuttle, drive about 12 miles north on Route 3 to a brownish house on the east side of the road (used to be orange). There is a sign here for the Livingston Ranch. Turn right and drive east for a total of about 4 miles. Stay on the main track as it veers around a lake, heads north, then bends east again to the ranch complex. You need to get permission at the Livingston Ranch. The best access is via the ranch road which climbs over the ridge and runs right through the middle of their compound. I met Rodís son and a young lady at the ranch who were both very friendly and granted me permission to drive up their road in search of the highpoints of both counties. I sent them a map and a brief report about both county highpoints after my visit.

The Kidder County highpoint is about one mile southeast of the ranch buildings, on top of the ridge. Their road is in pretty good shape up to the crest of the ridge and down the other side to a metal building but from there it gets more primitive (muddy) as it descends toward the lake. You can either park near the buildings, gain the ridge and hike south, or continue on down the eastern side of the ridge and park just past the 2nd draw (south of the metal building), then hike due west up the ridge to the top. You have to negotiate some brushy areas to get up the ridge but the hike isnít bad at all. The top is open with a few small rocks and the view is very impressive in all directions.

The Wells CoHPs (there are two contours) are immediately northeast of the ranch buildings within sight of the house but are actually on the neighbor's land. The easiest access is to park near the crest on the ridge road (near a tower), and then hike north along the ridge (crossing a serious fence in the draw).

The Livingston's have had other HPers visit this area before but I'm not sure they realized that the HPers were interested in the Wells County contours (north of their fence line) because they kept referring to the big hill right next to their tower.

For what itís worth, the hill next to their tower is at least 40 feet higher than the Wells County contours but itís in Kidder County, not Wells County.

This is a working cattle ranch so expect to see lots of cows and be sure to get permission from the Livingstons so that future highpoint visitors will be welcomed.