Holt County Highpoint Trip Report

two areas - including BM Kola (2,560+ ft)

Date: August 13, 2004
Author: Bob Schwab

From the intersection of Routes 91 and 11 just east of Burwell, drive north on Route 11 for 25.7 miles to an intersection with Road 849 (this is roughly 4.2 miles north of the county line). Turn left and drive west 8.5 miles on Road 849 (which is paved for the first 2 miles) to the Don Ackles Ranch. Don gave permission for me to visit his highpoint, which is about 1.5 miles northwest of the ranch. From the ranch, hike west along the southern edge of a row of trees to a windmill. From the windmill, hike directly northwest across a large pasture to the northern area (Area 1).

On the way out, I stopped at Jim Taylor's ranch (the grey stucco house on the left, about half way back to the highway from the Ackles Ranch) and met Mrs. Taylor. After I explained what I wanted to do, she called her son Bob, who said he'd be happy to take me up to see BM Kola, which is easiest to access from his ranch.

To get to Bob Taylor's Ranch, you must backtrack to the main highway and go south 6.25 miles to a paved road heading west (this is about 2 miles south of the county line). There is a sign here to the Mike Sitz Angus Ranch. Drive west, then north for 8.3 miles (only the first mile is paved) to where the road bends sharply left (west). Enter the gate to the Bob Taylor Ranch and drive another 0.75 mile north to the ranch.

Bob Taylor was very friendly and we hopped into his coyote-hunting truck and drove a maze of ranch paths literally up to the BM Kola site. If he had been busy, this would have been about a 2 mile walk each way. There is a BM and two RMs here, all extremely exposed because of "blowout" over the years. One of the curious things I noticed was that RM1 does not point toward the BM. Apparently it was disturbed years ago, and when they re-cemented it into the pipe, they didn't align it properly. Given the extreme sand erosion that the top of this hill has experienced and the fact that BM Kola is listed as 2,561 feet, I'd have to say that right now the area on the Ackles Ranch appears to be the county highpoint. However, if the wind drifts some sand back near BM Kola, it could again be above the 2,560-foot contour line. In any case, both of these areas should be visited.