Morrill County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: May 2004
Author: Scott Surgent

Access is via the Flying Bee Beefmaster Ranch, as noted in other reports. The Flying Bee covers 40,000 acres in Banner County but does not include the Morrill highpoints. For this, you need to get the okay from the landowner, Angie Lampasotes (sp?). The Flying Bee is run by Conrad and Louise Kinnaman: (308-783-2885 or 888-534-2341). It's $10 for a full day, $7.50 for a half-day. Angie's number is 308-279-0461. I met Louise, got the okay from Angie, and started in about 3 p.m. I drove in about 1 mile past the cabin/campground and parked at a gate/fence line but reading their brochure they mention you should park at the campground. Anyway, the hike from here is about 3.5 miles one way to the various Morrill highpoints.

Follow the road to a wash bottom (Road 1 on the Flying Bee Map). Turn right and pick your poison for attaining the ridge crest. Road 1 gains steeply but heads southwesterly. Instead, I followed a cow path generally south and southeast that put me on the crest about 0.5 mile east of where the road was. The path was eroded in some areas and tricky to follow in others but overall was easy. Once on the range crest, it's about a 2 mile walk east to the furthest hp areas. I hit the western bumps first, then the series to the east. Four areas in the eastern batch seemed like contenders, while only the big area in the west pair seemed likely. Stormy weather kept me moving quickly. I made the round trip in just over 3 hours, and was quite bushed upon exiting.

In my mind, however, probably the prettiest overall hike of my Nebraska HPs. If I were to do this again I'd camp the night before at the campground and make a more leisurely hike to the HPs the next morning. From the campground I'd figure it to be about a 9 mile round-trip hike.