Lawrence County High Point Trip Report

Crooks Tower - three spots, one at 7,137 ft

Date: July 21, 2002
Author: Dave Covill

We drove to the immediate vicinity of Crooks Tower, cohp of Lawrence Co SD. Here we slept under the stars, observing many meteorites, as well as the space station twice on its elliptical orbit. Too cool. No clouds all night. This is the highest spot you can drive to in SD, about 7,140 feet.

We left US 85 at O'Neill Pass after driving 4.4 miles from the WY/SD line to the northeast. You continue 0.4 mile further northeast than the actual sign at O'Neill Pass, and turn right (east) onto FR 231, a good gravel road. We passed CR 117 at mile 3.7 on FR 231, then turned right (south) up FR 189 at mile 4.8. Proceed 2.4 miles on a decent road to the top area. Turn left (east) and go 0.5 mile to Crooks Tower, where the road continues slightly beyond where it is shown on the map, actually dying at the farthest north of the 3 contour spots at 7,120 feet, just past Crooks Tower itself.

Interestingly, there is no tower here, just a large rock outcrop. The Tower, spot label 7,137 feet, hand-levels significantly higher than it's northern neighbor, perhaps 10 - 15 feet. There is an outcrop on the northern of 3 areas, and it does stick up about 3 - 4 feet. It is probably 7,125 - 7,128 feet.

The 3rd candidate area is a mile west, and no hand-leveling is possible. We drove 0.8 mile south from the intersection of FR 189 and the top road to the highest ground and stopped. We concur with Mike Schwartz; go 0.3 mile southwest, and don't quit too early. It is very flat, but rises noticeably all the way to the west edge of the 7,120-foot contour. It is probably 7,130 - 7,135 feet, but could be more. One needs to go here as well to claim Lawrence SD. We saw the stump with the single rock atop.