Niobrara County Highpoint Trip Report
Date: May 23, 2009
new access information
All candidate areas for the Niobrara county HP (and the land to the S) are on
the Ira Lamb Ranch, which is owned by Lee Denny. The land to the N of the HP is
owned by Donald Brooks, and some previous highpointers have gotten his
permission to visit the HP via his land. Since the HP is close to the property line,
Mr. Brooks didn't previously worry about highpointers penetrating a short
distance onto Mr. Denny's property from his property. Recently, however, Mr.
Brooks and Mr. Denny were involved in a lawsuit. As a result of the bad blood
between them, Mr. Brooks is no longer willing to grant permission to cross his
property on the way to the HP on Mr. Denny's property. Mr. Denny, who also owns
a real estate business, is now the only person who can give permission to visit
the HPs. His phone numbers are:
Author: Edward Earl
307-334-4021 real estate office
I called Mr. Denny and found him to be cordial (but I had to be careful not to
mention Mr. Brooks!); he granted me permission to hike to the HP, and gave me
directions to his ranch.
From the intersection of US-18 & US-85 on the S side of Lusk,
I headed W on US-18. Zero or note your odometer at the highway
intersection. At mile 1.9 I turned S on gravel Silver Springs Rd just beyond a
rest stop on the S side of the highway. At mile 12.4 I turned R (W) at a sign
that said "Ira Lamb Ranch 3½ miles". The road is narrow, uneven, and sometimes
muddy; a vehicle without high clearance will probably have trouble, and a
vehicle without 4WD will probably get stuck in the mud in wet weather. At mile
14.9 I entered the Ira Lamb Ranch at a cattle guard and "No Trespassing" sign.
At mile 15.3 I arrived at the compound, which consists of ranch facilities on the L
and two small houses on the R. Mr. Denny lives in the second house. We had a
brief discussion; he showed me which hill was the HP, and explained that there
were some radio towers on it (which were not visible now, but I had previously
seen them on my drive; they're visible for miles around). He instructed me to
stop by the house again at the end of my hike to "sign out".
I set out on my hike, and after 30-40 minutes got high on the hill that Mr.
Denny had directed me to. Checking my map, I determined that the hill he said
was the HP was not the HP; it was the radio towers near Lamb BM 6094, and the HP
areas are ½ to 1 mile W of the towers. [A previous trip report indicates that
Mr. Brooks also believed, incorrectly, that the hill with the towers was the HP.
Perhaps there's widespread local misinformation as to where the county HP is.]
I had ascended the gully E of Lamb Draw. In any case, I turned W and headed for
the correct HP, first visiting the two eastern areas, then walking the
horseshoe-shaped ridgeline to the western area. I returned to the ranch compound
via Lamb Draw.
When I checked out with Mr. Denny after the hike, I decided not to take issue
with him about the correct location of the HPs. After returning home, I called
the Niobrara County Assessor just to be sure who is the owner of the correct HP
candidates, and it is indeed Mr. Denny. Future HPers who find themselves unable
to avoid the issue of the true HP owner and location can cite my query to the