Sioux County High Point Trip Report

Date: June 16, 2001
Author: John Mitchler

This pleasant ridge crest is in cattle country in the northwest corner of the state, just west of Harrison, and is fun to surmount. Don't be intimidated by the 27 areas listed in Andy Martin's book, because hand leveling shows only one area to be the highest. The main ridge holds 25 of the 27 areas and forms a one-mile wide arc that opens to the southeast. The HP lies in the center of the arc.

Directions: From the intersection of US20 and NE29 at the north side of Harrison, go north on paved Monroe Canyon Road for 3.2 miles to the first county road on the left after the bend in the highway. Go left (west) on gravel Pleasant Valley Road for 10.2 miles to a ranch access gate on the left (west). If you go to 11.0 miles, you'll see the Dunn Ranch on the right (east) and if you go 12.7 miles you'll come to Klondike Road. However, pull off at 10.2 miles to hike into the ranch. If permission is granted, you can drive to the summit.

During our visit, two cowboys had just herded cattle through the gate, and granted us permission to drive up to the HP. They did not realize it was the highest point in Sioux Co. They appeared to come from the Dunn Ranch across the road, so I recommend a visit to that ranch to ask for permission. We drove to the ridge crest to the north (in eastern section 3) because we wanted to walk the length like David Olson did. I took lots of hand level sightings and backsightings. We even drove to the south end of the ridge crest in northern section 9.

The HP certainly appears to be the radio tower hill in the center of section 4, located 1.5 miles northwest of the gate access along Pleasant Ridge Road. The tower doesn't exist, but two cinder block buildings remain. The bench mark is Kennedy 1941. The hills to the south appeared very close in elevation to the tower hill, but backsighting proved that the BM is the HP. A small hill with a prominent cairn on it is located a half mile east of the radio tower hill. It appears very close in elevation so we hiked over there to be sure. This is cattle country and you are likely to encounter them in this field. One of the herds we found were yearlings so they approached us as if to play. The two areas across the road in section 2 are lower via hand level as confirmed by different leveling methods.

Do not bother the livestock. Leave gates as you find them, whether open or closed. Do not collect any plants or minerals. Do not hunt or start fires. Watch for snakes and keep clear of cattle herds. Stay on ranch roads which are obvious two tracks in the grass; do not drive on range grass. Be careful of getting stuck in sand or hung up in ruts. Have a full tank of gas and bring water. Don't let your hot muffler rest on dry grass.

Mitchler Rating: B (one area out of 27, 150' hike from gate or can be driveup, private but friendly ranch)