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Ascent of Magazine Mountain on 2011-12-18

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Date:Sunday, December 18, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Carpool
Peak:Magazine Mountain
    Location:USA-Arkansas
    Elevation:2753 ft / 839 m

Ascent Trip Report

Last hike of the 2 day trip to bag state and county HPs. This was our fourth AR state park we visited. The weather started out nice, our second day of cool dry weather after the area was pelted before we got there. Our hike started at 41F but a rainy cold front began to move in near the end and it dropped to 31F as we pulled into the lodge (our finish line). Well I detest drive up highpoints so here is how I turned bagging this SHP into a hike!

To make this hike interesting we had the lodge drop us off at the observation overlook junction with Huckelberry Mountain Trail. Our ride was a decendant of Will Apple and quite pleasant and chatty. That first segment was muddy and steep and more like an ATV road, but the Will Apple segment was nice. The trail was lined with an old barb wire fence that the trees had completely absorbed into their core. We stopped at the visitors center and enjoyed the exhibits and history.

Then we jumped on the rim trail which is not very steep and in fact rolls up and down a bit for some extrain gain. It crosses several creeks which gives you a better feel for how the table top of this old sea bed has slowly been eroded from small depressions in the sedimentary rock to form what now appears as highly folded ravines and canyons with steep cliffs and overlooks. This hike feels more like a canyon hike then a mountain hike, but then again the harder sandstone cap rock sticks up as the remaining reminder of the vast sea that was once there and so that sea bottom now looks like a mountain where all the ground around has eroded away. Totally different than an uplifted mountain like Pinnacle at Pinnacle SP.

Climbing mountains like Nemo and Magazine in Arkansas make you realize how subjective the concept of a mountain is. The ground canyon appears to be a much larger version of this part of AR, however the "canyon" is the minority of the eroded landscape so the top of the rim seems like the natural floor not a mountain, where many of these AR mountains have such large relative eroded valley areas and "canyons" that the remaining sea floor appears to stick up and thus is called a mountain.

Rim Trail took us to the Signal Hill trail which is the trail to the state HP. Signal Hill is simply the higher of two small bumps on the massive sea floor-mountain that is about 10 feet higher than nearby Mossyback Ridge. So you can simply drive up and park and climb the bump called Signal Hill which is the top of Magazine Mountain or there are more adventurous and time consuming ways to earn the view and state highpoint.

At the state HP sign a woman agreed to take our picture and and realized I was documenting my #21 state HP and she excitedly told us she was doing her #21st too.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:944 ft / 287 m
    Elevation Loss:393 ft / 119 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Grade/Class:1
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
started nice but quickly turned to a new front
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:934 ft / 284 m
    Extra Loss:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    Route:Huckelberry Mtn Trl to Will Apple to North Rim to
    Trailhead:Huckelberry Mtn Trail parking-oberservation  1969 ft / 600 m
    Time Up:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:243 ft / 74 m
    Extra Gain:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:Signal Hill to road to lodge
    Trailhead:The state park lodge  2520 ft / 768 m
    Time Down:15 Minutes



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