Harney County Highpoint Trip Report

Steens Mountain

Date: August 14, 2006
Author: Richard Carey

We drove up this mountain August 14, 2006 and visited both possible highpoints. In his August 1998 report, Ken Jones suggests that the northern highpoint is higher than the southern one. After using my 32X level at the southern highpoint by the radio towers I believe the topo map is correct with the southern point about three feet higher. I sighted on the northern point and saw people standing on the rocks by the sign. My level line was just over their heads, indicating about 7 to 8 feet higher. The distance is about 2.15 miles which yields 3.1 ft. of earth's curvature. Subtracting this amount and allowing for some errors, I still think the southern point is about three feet higher.

If one is driving up in a sedan by the better northern road I would advise going out that way rather than trying the southern loop road. This road, as warning signs state, gets rough and rocky after about 6 miles and remains so for 4 miles before improving. The northern approach was in very good condition when we drove it and would be suitable for any car.