Donley County High Point Trip Report

Date: November 11, 2000
Author: John Garner

This county highpoint is easy to pick up driving cross-country on I-40.

From Amarillo, drive east on I-40 about 40 miles to the town of Groom. Take Business I-40 exit; this turns into the main drag through town, old Hwy 66. Watch for a dirt road coming in from the right, between two grain elevators, about midway through town. Turn right, set odometer. Wind past elevators, road turns into county section-line road. Zigzag west and then south again at 0.4 mile; turn right (south) on Road 30 at a house here. At mile 1.4 (1 mile south of previous turn), turn left (east) on Alpha Road. At mile 1.9, turn right (south), called Road 30 again. At mile 2.9, turn left (east) on Bravo Road.

Road dips down, then back up a rise. First hp area is along road at mile 4.3, which is 1.4 miles east of Road 30. The topo shows another area about half a mile northeast, but I believe this to be a mistake. There was clearly no area east of the county line that was as high as the road. I leveled it to be sure.

The main claim to fame of the town of Groom is the "largest cross in the Western Hemisphere". About 100 feet tall or more, this cross was built along the interstate and is visible for miles in any direction, including from the Donley hp. I suppose if you are religious, it may be an inspiring sight, but it seemed to me like some hideous tourist thing. The other thing of interest in this town is the stretch of road that is old 66. The I-40 bypass was built fairly late, only about 25 years ago. The town hasn't changed. Along the old highway, there are a number of old, closed-down restaurants, motels, and gas stations. For the most part, the old stuff is just there, not converted to a car lot or something like in most places. Seemed like a step into the past.