Ascent of Banner County High Point on 2004-05-19

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Banner County High Point
    Elevation:5340 ft / 1627 m

Ascent Trip Report

Banner County is a curious place, consisting of one tiny town (Harrisburg, population about 60), a bunch of far-flung ranch properties, and a total population in the hundreds. During the Cold War from the 1940s through the 1980s, it was home to a number of missile silos housing ICBMs.

The land is a mix of grassy pasture and eroded sandstone formations, some of which are quite impressive and beautiful. The highpoints are spaced along the western boundary with Wyoming. Two areas lie atop one bluff, and another long hill near a lonely farm.

From Logan County in Colorado, I drove north to Kimball on Interstate-80, then west into Pine Bluff, Wyoming, then north on Wyoming state route WY-215, which included a 15-minute forced break as I waited out a long, slow-moving train crossing the highway. I drove to the small bluff sitting along the Wyoming-Nebraska border. Hiking to the two highpoint areas was easy and took just a few minutes.

From here I drove north 4 miles, following County Roads 1 and 16, parking north of the gentle hill that sits on the Malm property. I walked an open, unfenced and unposted grassy slope to the top, then right back down. This hill (to me) is probably the actual county highpoint.

I stayed on the local road net, heading east through the canyon country of Banner County. The scenery was very interesting. Soon, I entered into Harrisburg, and just as fast, exited. Now on state route NE-71, I continued northbound toward Scotts Bluff.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Trailhead:5300 ft / 1615 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country

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