Ascent of Wildcat Hills on 2004-05-19

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Wildcat Hills
    Elevation:4940 ft / 1505 m

Ascent Trip Report

Entering into Scotts Bluff County, the land became noticeably more varied. There are hills, sandstone monoliths, bluffs and canyons, intermixed with grass rangeland and sections of forest. During the 19th-Century, west-bound travelers passed through the area, using its unique formations as landmarks. These days, Scotts Bluff is the biggest city in western Nebraska.

The highest point(s) are seven separate 4,930-foot contours spread out along the broad ridges of the Wildcat Hills, south of Scotts Bluff. From route NE-71, I drove Carter Canyon Road west past ranches and homes, gaining onto the highlands. Once past a big ranch spread, I parked near an unlocked gate, centrally located among the seven areas.

The areas are clumped closely so that it's easy to narrow the field to one or two, and previous visitors had deemed one particular area as the highpoint. I got my boots on for the short walk, and at that moment, a guy rolls up in a county truck. He was the county surveyor, doing some work in the area. Naturally, I asked him about the county highpoint. Not only was he aware these were the county highpoints, he verified the one area I was interested in was in fact the true county highpoint. We talked briefly, then parted ways as he had business to attend to.

It's rare to get in-the-field confirmation from the county surveyor, so I felt lucky. The hike itself was easy, covering a few hundred feet and less than 15 minutes. The top held a small cairn and sign-in log. I actually hiked this hill twice, coming back a second time for the crappy photo you see at left. However, the views were very nice. I had a good time.

Next on my agenda was another county highpoint in the same Wildcat Hills, over in neighboring Morrill County.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Trailhead:4900 ft / 1493 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country

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