Upshur County High Point Trip Report

Date: February 8, 2004
Author: Bill Jacobs

Upshur County has three areas listed in Andy Martin's book, all within a few miles of Gilmer, Texas. The county was completed in the company of Dave Olson and thanks to his having previously visited one of the areas we were able to finish it after the sun had set. We have discounted Area One as a possible candidate for the highest point in the county and it need not be visited.

Area one: From U.S. Highway 271 in Gilmer, head east on Highway 154 for 1.5 miles to just over the crest of the hill. Turn left at "Sloons" and the road signed PR2014. Continue up to the top of Simpson Hill where there is a communications facility. About 200 yards to the south the topo shows a "reservoir" surrounded by several closed contours. The "reservoir" is indeed there but when looking back, the communications site is obviously higher. One or two of the map "reservoir" contours could be "depression" rings. A few days after our visit we noted the topo map shows the elevation of the communications facility as being no higher than 630 feet, at least 50 feet lower than the other two areas.

Area two: From U.S. Highway 271 in Gilmer, head west on Highway 154 for 1.2 miles. Turn southwest on Highway 554 (also labeled on various maps as Highway 49) and continue for one mile to a side road turning due south. Follow this road for approximately 1.2 miles to where it makes a second ninety-degree turn to the west. There's not much room for parking but we jammed the car up the side of a chained access road. We spoke with the owner of the property across the road (he happened to be driving by) and he indicated Underwood Mountain is privately owned but we saw no signs denying access. We climbed to the northern point of the north/south ridge of the "mountain" and followed a path to the higher, southern point. An easier route would be to follow the pipeline right- of-way heading southeast from the parking spot and locate a ATV track leading more directly to the top of Underwood than the route we took.

Area three: From Underwood Mountain return to Highway 554. Continue west on 554 passing through the hamlets of Enoch, Summerfield, and Latch, as shown on the topos. From Latch leave Highway 554 and follow the side road heading directly west. In approximately one mile there's a dirt road leading south up the hill to the third area. The road is gated near the bottom but there's ample room for parking and continuing on foot. We stopped at a nearby home to ask permission before going up.