Cimarron County Highpoint Trip Report

Black Mesa (4,973 ft)

Date: September 23, 2006
Author: Edward Earl

The preferred way to reach Black Mesa, the HP of the state of OK, has changed. Previously, highpointers parked on a county road near the base of the mesa about 2 miles N of Kenton and bushwhacked 600' up steep talus to the rim, then hiked W to the HP. This can no longer be done without crossing posted property, and an alternate route on an established hiking trail on the north side, in Black Mesa Nature Preserve, is now preferred.

On OK 325 about 1/2 mile E of Kenton, I turned N on a county road where a prominent sign indicates 5 miles to the Black Mesa summit trail and includes a glyph of a hiker climbing a steep rock. After 2 miles the road reaches the base of the mesa and turns E, but instead of parking here as was done previously, one continues on the road around the E end of the mesa and then W along the N side to a well marked turnoff where the signs indicate Black Mesa Nature Preserve and the Black Mesa summit trail.

Signs at the trailhead indicate 4.2 miles one way to the top of Black Mesa. The trail traverses the N base of the mesa for about 2.5 miles, climbs a buttress to gain the rim in about 0.7 more miles with 400' elevation gain, and traverses the top of the mesa about 1 mile to the famous obelisk marking the state HP.

Total round trip time for me was a little under 3 hours.