Winkler County High Point Trip Report

Date: March 11, 2001
Author: Andy Martin

We took a 2 mile detour to Notrees and back toward the Ector county highpoint to cross the fence. Then we headed north a few miles to a point just off the quad, where a major dirt lane heads west to Winkler HP. Unfortunately, this excellent dirt road is blocked by a locked gate, so we followed the aqueduct shown on the topo map to reach spot elevation 3361, where we were stopped by fences. From here it is nearly a 3 mile hike along a good road to the HP areas.

The terrain is pool-table flat on the mesa top, so we paced off a distance and bearing from the slight bend the aqueduct makes at spot 3396. A GPS reading of 102:51:663 by 31:59:455 was made at the north area, and then we hiked to the south area at 102:51:500 by 31:58:824. On the way south we passed a small structure on the aqueduct that generated lots of noxious sulfuric acid fumes. We judged the southern area to be a bit lower than the northern by sight level, but we built a cairn down there anyway, though it was hard to find much in the way of rocks. Left a register and started the long hike back. Occasionally there are some views off mesa to the south - not bad for country like this. Saw some deer on the way. Maybe they get water from the stock tanks. I wonder how folks got water in this country long ago before wells were drilled - maybe they stuck close to the Pecos River. The air photos were semi-useful on Winkler county, and a GPS unit will be handy.

We drove back to where I had left my car, where I hopped the fence and sprinted over to where it was parked. Shortly after my arrival a sheriff and a local showed up. After some list-waving, fast-talking, and bullet-dancing, I was advised to exit the premises in the same direction and manner my compadres had taken (actually, both men were very friendly). The local did remark that the first peak on the TX list, namely Guadalupe, was certainly more interesting than the Ector county HP, to which I heartily agreed.

In any event, not sure we can give Winkler and Ector counties a clean bill of health when it comes to access. If one is looking for permission, Notrees is a good place to start.