Gilliam County Highpoint Trip Report

unnamed (4,290 ft)

Date: August 5, 2006
Author: Richard L. Carey

Note: UTM coordinates use NAD27 datum and are in Zone 11.

Driving Directions

Head east from Condon on highway 206 and turn right (south) on Lonerock Road. After 6.1 miles turn right (south) on Lost Valley Road which is paved for about one mile. Drive this good, graded road south for 7.9 miles to a bend with a gate on your left. The road continues dirt going southwest. The coordinates given by Adam Helman in his report are OK: (266650 E, 4995780 N).

Access Issues

The gate was unlocked and open the day we were there, however it has been reported as locked in previous reports. We did the hike from the gate and were confronted by a woman on an ATV as we returned. I was expecting the worst with an irate landowner, but the lady was very pleasant and said she didn't mind that we were hiking to the county highpoint. She had only recently learned that the highpoint was on their ranch property. She was from the Hardie Ranch to the west of the road and they own land on the east side all the way to the highpoint. She would prefer that hikers come to the ranch and ask permission to hike. They are concerned about lone parked vehicles and that someone maybe broke down, thus the reason for her investigation. They have also had some more suspicious activity on the east side.

The Hardie Ranch entrance is 1/4 mile further south from the gate on the west side. The gate is at 32554 Lost Valley Road and is not marked with the Hardie name and may be chained shut, but not locked. Future highpoint hikers should drive in and ask permission. They may even let you drive if the gate is open, but the road is passable only a short distance to a hill top and is then overgrown with several more locked gates. I think it is best to hike to the highpoint.

Highpoint Assessment

I took my 32X Automatic Level and we went to the western highpoint with spot elevation 4285 feet. I put some red flagging on bushes and then proceeded east to the other highpoint on the road. There is no fence along the Gilliam-Wheeler line, but it runs east-west. Close to the road at the eastern point we found a mound just southwest of a lone tree which seemed to be the highest point. I scanned around with the level and confirmed this and checked the GPS to see if we were on the county line as best I could determine. Sighting west to the 4285 foot point I couldn't see the flagging. The distance is 1.17 miles and I aligned my view to 270 degrees and found that the western hill was 5 to 10 feet lower. I estimate the eastern point to be 4290 to 4295 ft.

We left a register in a cairn on the mound and put a short red flag tape on a nearby bush. The hike to the east highpoint is 6.4 miles round-trip with about 1000 feet of gain and it is best to follow the old road shown on the topo map.

Coordinates at the highpoint are (270165 E, 4994213 N). A follow-on look at the topo shows this point to be a bit north of the county line which I show as 4994182 N, but at the time the highest point seemed to be on the mound. Future hikers can wander around and make their own judgement.