Kleberg County High Point Trip Report

four areas, one with spot elevation 168 ft at the northwest county corner (165+ ft)

Date: January 14, 2004
Author: Scott Surgent

We arrived in the small town of Ben Bolt at the junctions of FM-2508 and US-281 in Jim Wells county late in the day on the 13th. It was too late to start a hike but we still had time to explore some farm field roads that might allow us to cut our overall hiking time down considerably. We had in hand Bill Jacobs' report in which he came in from the east via the Santa Maria Ranch, and incurred almost 8 miles of round-trip hiking.

From Ben Bolt, we followed FM-2508 east. To the south is mostly farmland and a few residences. The Kleberg county line is parallel to FM-2508 about 0.7 mile south, and is seen as a band of brush and trees off on the horizon. We found two scant farm field roads at 1.3 and 2.7 miles in from US-281. We tried the one at 2.7 miles first, and interrupted a guy "hunting" (i.e., sitting on a perch near his truck, rifle on his lap). I talked to him and he strongly hinted that tomorrow morning would be better for us to be there. We also checked out the road at 1.3 miles before settling in for the night bush-camping along FM-1352 a few miles away.

Early the next morning we drove to the field road at the 2.7 mile mark and parked along the highway (the road was now closed with a chain gate). Still in the dark, we hiked south 0.6 mile to the Kleberg county fence, and scooted under at a convenient point. The change in scenery was dramatic -- we were now on the King Ranch and amid mostly natural, native brush. A very bad, torn-up dirt road runs along the county line and offered us a messy, brush-free path in which to pick off the highpoint areas.

The first two were gained by hiking east from our entrance point about 0.2 and 0.4 mile, with the furthest HP area requiring a bit of tromping south into the bush to claim it. We then walked west about 1.5 miles to the corner area (with the 168-foot spot elevation), and finally, walked south about 0.4 mile to the fourth area. A road not shown on the map, and various cowpaths, helped for the final area. All positions were verified using GPS; only the southern (fourth) area had any noticeable rise to it.

We then exited the ranch and Kleberg county by scooting under the fence back into Jim Wells county, walking west about 0.3 mile, then crossing another fence that put us into the farm field we'd scouted the night before (the one at 1.3 miles). We walked out this road and back onto the paved road, and east to the truck.

Total hiking was close to 6 miles, which we did in three hours. No signs anywhere prohibit access.