Campbell County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: June 3, 2005
Author: Adam Helman

Note: All NAD27 UTM coordinates are in zone 13T.

This effort was part of a larger journey in late May through early June 2005.

This report serves as addendum to John Mitchler's report.

The man you want to speak with for a northwestern approach is John Christensen. John Mitchler's report mixed-up John C's telephone number and that of the Mankins (who you would need to contact for a southerly approach). John Christensen's number is 307-939-1361.

Trust me on this - although John C. granted me access, he is upset about being overrun by droves of highpointers. I had to assure him that very few people highpoint Wyoming counties. Much of his land is used for extracting fossil fuels - a fact verified on the approach drive (see John M's report).

The road junction noted by John M. as 15.1 miles from route 50 is at (418751 E, 4850659 N). I found the junction to be more like 16 1/2 miles from pavement. Head south here by taking the left fork southeast.

In just over one-half mile the road descends, crosses a creek drainage, and then continues southeast after climbing out of the drainage. The desired dirt road (now a mere grassy track in places) begins immediately (within 50-100 meters) south of where the southeast-trending approach road crosses this drainage. The dirt road exits the white gravel approach road by heading north, entering the gully where it promptly gets covered in grass and mud as it turns northeast. Approximate coordinates for the gravel road / dirt track junction are (418619 E, 4849806 N).

The dirt track is good to walk upon, and as a navigational aid; but I do not feel that anything short of an ATV can safely travel it any longer. Once on the northwest slopes of North Pumpkin Butte the road quality improves, and walking it is far more efficient than going cross-country. A key waypoint is a junction at 5,700 feet at (422409 E, 4849800 N). Here the desired road turns from generally southeast to southwest. The road then contours, gaining little elevation, as it heads south, and then southeast just under the west mesa rim.

A few hundred yards before topping out on the southwest side of the butte the road is eroded away to the extent that a small side path has been cut to get around. The eroded portion is only ten meters long - the road continuing unabated thereafter to the butte top.

I called Dave Covill on a rented satellite telephone, from the western radio antenna a ten minute walk northwest from where the road tops out on the butte. This antenna area indeed seemed like the locally highest ground. Dave C. was enroute to Las Vegas and Telescope Peak with his son. A pair of granola bars, a handful of kosher bologna, and huckleberry chocolate composed my lunch meal.

Round-trip from my vehicle (parked near the north bank of the creek drainage noted above) was about 4 hours 20 minutes, with an estimated hiking distance of nine miles - including four miles one-way to the mesa rim and one-half mile one-way atop the rim to the transmitter.