Upton County High Point Trip Report

Date: March 11, 2001
Author: Andy Martin

Bob Martin had informed me that there is now a paved road up the north side of King Mountain. It leads to a big FAA facility, and is gated and locked at the pavement, with some dilapidated homes and trailers nearby. It is shown as dirt on the quad, starting near windmill 2887. I assembled the mountain bike and rode it to the FAA site, which seems to be right on the high point. Circled it, and left a cairn and register at the SW corner. It is very flat on top, hard to see that one point is higher than another. The bike ride back down hill was enjoyable, did not see a soul coming or going.

Next, I drove about 1/2 a mile west and headed up Castle Mountain. Drove the bike cross-country about 1/4 mile, which did not save much effort, but did pick up a thorn in the tire. An oil well is found along this route, with the ancient oily and sulphurous smell that I was beginning to relate to the Permian Basin. Not an entirely unpleasant odor, and one that is welcomed by the oil driller, I imagine.

A small 10' cliff makes a rampart around Castle mountain, but a couple breaks are found. Keep an eye out for fossils - I saw several shells. Crossed over the flat top and enjoyed the view to the west, then backtracked to the highest patch I found and built a mini cairn.

The Castle Gap just to the south turns out to have an interesting history as an important pass in the area.