Ascent of La Salle County High Point on 2004-01-16

Climber: Scott Surgent

Others in Party:Bob Martin
Date:Friday, January 16, 2004
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:La Salle County High Point
    Elevation:650 ft / 198 m

Ascent Trip Report

We drove to the community of Encinal, located at the junction of TX-44 and Interstate-35, and pulled into a Love's Truck Stop to read our maps. Just a few miles north, and seemingly close by some decent roads, was one of the five areas comprising La Salle's County highpoint. I was thinking we could go there and visit it, then use the darkness to drive a few hours, then visit the rest of the highpoints (a batch of four areas in its northwest corner) the next day. Problem was that we only had about 45 minutes before sunset and it was raining. We didn't relax much at the truck stop. I rode with Bob in his truck.

From the truck stop, we followed TX-44 west a half-mile and then a right onto a major dirt road heading northwest for five miles, then a right turn, now heading northeast for another 3.1 miles, parking beside a gate and some oil tanks marked "Burkholder". The GPS placed us due west of the highpoint area, which sits on the La Salle county line (we were in Webb county).

We squeezed through the gate and started walking a road heading southeast for three-quarters of a mile. Fortuitously, this road placed us dead-center in the highest region. As we walked back, we crossed another road and spotted two men, obviously Mexican, walking it. They smiled at us. Mexican crossers? Who knows. We didn't stick around to ask questions, and were back to Bob's truck in the dark.

Driving out, the rain had made the roads very slick, so Bob used 4-wheel drive to get us back to pavement. We returned to the Love's so I could get my car. We used this opportunity to clean up and get supplies. We spent the rest of the evening driving to Carrizo Springs and then on out to some lonely FM roads, placing us near the Dimmit county highpoint area, which we visited early the next morning.

We visited the remaining areas of La Salle County the next day around mid-morning. We drove into Big Wells along TX-85, where I parked at a mini-mart, and once again rode with Bob. Heading east on TX-85, we went about 11 miles and turned onto "Sandy County Road" (appropriately named), and followed it east-northeast about 0.8 mile to a road and a gate on our right, heading south-southeast.

We got lucky, as just ahead of us was a truck, and these guys were just passing through the gate, so I got their attention and asked about letting us on to go visit the La Salle County highpoints. The guys were amused that we wanted to willingly hike in what appeared to be flat brush land, but I assured them we were for real, and showed them our map, and they said it was okay. Not that they necessarily owned the land. They just let us through the gate, keeping it unlocked so we could make our way out.

Bob and I drove south about 1.2 mile and parked at another gate along the road. This area has four of La Salle County's highpoint areas, but only two looked like legitimate contenders as two of the areas are little tiny blips. The first area was 0.2 mile from us, the farthest about 0.7 mile, so we went and visited that one first, walking south-southeast along the road to a huge fence, then entering the brush, seeking out the high area.

From this high area, we sighted north to the other large area, saw that it was probably just as high, and went to it. We also sighted to the northeast to the other two areas and saw nothing as high as us.

To gain the last area we followed the internal network of roads and found ourselves atop this last area shortly. This area also had a hunter's blind. We exited the brush and got back onto the main road, and back to Bob's truck. We exited the area through the first gate, locked it, went back to Big Wells.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:50 ft / 16 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Trailhead:600 ft / 182 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country

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