Aransas County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: October 21, 2004
Author: Ken Oeser

As previous reports state, this highpoint is in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The highpoint, however, does not have a trail or bench on it. Drive the main road down to the Dagger Point road, turn left, and drive to the parking lot.

A short trail goes east to the shore while a loop trail goes left and up a ridge of the Sand Hills just north of the parking lot. After 300 feet or so, it tops out on the 50+ foot hill, where there is a bench. As shown on the topo, the highpoint hill is still about 0.2 mile northwest, although not quite visible due to the trees. My GPS confirmed this. From the 50+ bench, follow the trail northwest, down to a trail split, and turn right. Follow this about 1/4 mile, going around a pond that is sitting in the sink shown on the topo. From here the trail curves and heads southwest, then south, passing just west of the highpoint ridge. We followed it until it headed too far south and then southeast and backtracked until the highpoint was about 100 feet to our east and about 30 feet above us. It was in this area that I saw an 8-inch, fat-bodied, interesting snake that seemed to be poisonous by shape, not a rattlesnake, but may have been a copperhead or something similar.

From this area it is a rough bushwhack through thorn scrub to the top of the highpoint ridge. The trees have thorns, the bushes have thorns, the thorns have thorns.

At the top we followed the short ridge to it's highpoint bumps. There is little view due to the scrub everywhere and it appears there has never been a trail or bench unless they have been gone for a few years. We looked for a better way down but there was none. Topo map and GPS agree that this is the 55+ foot area.

Have I mentioned the mosquitoes? Let me say that from the time we exited the car, we were chased by swarms of them. They really helped our time on the trail because if we slowed, we only had that many more land on us. Annette usually led, with Alexandra behind her, brushing about 10 mosquitoes off her back at a time, while I did the same for Alexandra. I just brushed my arms and legs every few seconds to kill as many as possible. The bushwhack was a relief because they couldn't follow us so well through the thick scrub. We killed many of the suckers but I'm sure several escaped with our blood in their bellies. That night we stopped at a store and bought some DEET, which we only had to use slightly for the rest of the trip. This could be a West Nile Virus hot-spot!

I'm curious if previous visitors went to this southwest ridge or if they only visited the eastern ridge just above the parking lot and shore.