San Juan County High Point Trip Report

Author: Andy Martin

Editor's Note: The following are comments derived from the County Highpointers mailing list and may be useful in determining which area to visit. Of course, there are those who will visit them all to remove any doubt and enjoy the pursuit in the process. National Geodetic Survey information confirms BEAUTIFUL BM is 18 feet higher than WASHINGTON BM. The NM list has

San Juan --

Beautiful Mountain 9,388 -- ?-26N-20W -- Sanostee West
BM Washington 9,370 -- 3-21N-19W -- Washington Pass

Footnote: Beautiful Mountain is shown at 2855 meters (9,367') on the 1980 1:100,000 metric USGS map Toadlena. My opinion is that the 2855 elevation is a goof by the 1:100,000 map makers, but I have not contacted the USGS for further information. Since the BM Washington is a drive-up not terribly far from Beautiful Mountain, and has a fire lookout tower to boot, you might as well visit it in conjunction with a visit to Beautiful Mountain. However, my guess it that BM Washington is lower:

An area 1/2 mile nne of Washington BM has a spot elevation of 9368, which places it under the 9370 Washington BM.

I have looked at the maps carefully, trying to figure where the 2855 meter figure might have come from on Beautiful Mountain. Several of the spot elevations on the 1:100,000 metric USGS map Toadlena are exact conversions from the 7.5' quads, e.g., for BM Washington, 9370/3.2808 = 2856.01 = 2856, which is what is shown on the metric map. For Beautiful Mountain, if an 8 was turned into a 6 by mistake 9388 --> 9368 (oops) then 9368/3.2808 = 2855.4 = 2855

If this is the case, Beautiful Mountain is clearly the HP, and we can forget about BM Washington and the area 1/2 mile nne of Washington BM.