Ascent of Reeves County High Point on 2001-03-10

Climber: Scott Surgent

Others in Party:Andy Martin
Bob Martin
Date:Saturday, March 10, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Reeves County High Point
    Elevation:5115 ft / 1559 m

Ascent Trip Report

The highpoint of Reeves County is found in the hills along its southwestern boundary with Jeff Davis County, where a small appendage of the Barrilla Mountains jut into Reeves County. The highpoint has no name, and is just a little hilltop, unremarkable in every way, except for its status as a county highpoint.

I was here in January 2000, inspecting a way up to this highpoint. There is a good dirt road that gets close, off of state route TX-18. However, there is a residence here and all sorts of posted notices, so I did not enter on this visit. Maybe another time.

Another time came sooner than expected. When I proposed a Texas county highpoints tour with Andy Martin for March 2001, he mentioned that Bob Martin was interested in coming, and had a lead for this particular county highpoint. This was fantastic news, and I would get to meet Bob for the first time, too. I had purchased his Arizona's Mountains book ages ago, and now I got to meet the man.

Andy and I convoyed in our separate vehicles along Interstate-10, bush-camping in the desert south of Allamoore in Hudspeth County that evening. The following morning, we met Bob in Balmorhea. After introductions, we got rolling toward the Reeves County highpoint. I followed Andy and Bob as we pulled into the ranch manager's house a few miles down the highway from the highpoint access road. His name was Larry and was very friendly. Bob had secured permission from the landowner beforehand, and Larry's job was to show us the way. We spent ten minutes visiting with him, then we got moving as Larry had to get back to his duties.

We drove the dirt road leading in to the highpoint. Andy and Bob rode together, and I followed in my truck. The road was in good shape as it ran along the flats before entering into small mesa-like hills. We were able to weave our way up this road through the breaks, onto higher terrain. We drove a short way farther and parked near a windmill ("Hernandez Windmill") and water tank. The day was clear, warm and pleasant.

The hike was short and direct. We walked south, spooked a feral pig along the way, and ascended a hill following a bulldozer track to gain the higher ground. The highpoint was an easy amble across grassy ridges, a one-mile journey from our vehicles. And there was a cairn there, so someone else had obviously been here before and was aware of this little point's significance.

The top was lightly wooded in low trees and scrub. The best views were east, as the hills drop down to the desert flats that lead to the Pecos River. The elevation differential was close to 2,000 feet, from our perch at 5,115 feet compared to the flats at about 3,000 feet. This actually felt like a highpoint.

The hike out went quickly, as was the drive. We stopped again to say goodbye and thanks to Larry, then drove toward Pecos, setting ourselves up for our next objective, the low desert hills marking the Ward County highpoint.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:600 ft / 183 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Trailhead:4515 ft / 1376 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country

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