Ascent of Lithograph Canyon Hillside on 2016-08-14

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Others in Party:Marshall Stewart
Date:Sunday, August 14, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Lithograph Canyon Hillside
    Location:USA-South Dakota
    Elevation:5820 ft / 1773 m

Ascent Trip Report

I hope my observations about this high point will influence a change to the coordinates listed here. First, the map on this page shows Park boundaries that are no where close to the location of the high point. On another topo map, I found Park boundaries that did include the coordinates listed here, but clearly, that location is not the highest spot. My GPS indicated an elevation here of 5820 feet, the same as recorded here, but the Park's boundary continues north a few hundred feet uphill to the NE corner of the Park where I read an elevation of 5848 feet on my GPS with an accuracy of 17 feet at N 43.74178 W 103.81678. That's 28 feet higher than the coordinates Peakbagger provides. This exact point is located 35 feet SW from the NE corner of Jewel Cave National Monument. For my son, Marshall, and I it doesn't matter because we visited both areas, but future visitors might want to figure out the true high point location or visit both spots like my son and I did. We parked my car on a wide shoulder of the road at the entrance to the cave for Jewel Cave National Monument. We then traveled cross country over rolling open terrain to a ridge with a rather steep climb to the high points. There are several boundary posts located here to make you feel comfortable you are on the actual Park's boundary. It took us nearly 30 minutes to reach the top of the ridge from my car. For our return trip, we followed a water drainage gully that took us to a sharp bend on the paved road to the south at N 43.73727 W 103.81945. From here it was an easy 1/4 mile climb on the road back to my car. Our return trip to my car only took 21 minutes and avoided all the up and down rolling terrain we experienced on our ascent. It would be tempting to park at the sharp bend mentioned above, but there is no shoulder there, so you will still need to hike from the shoulder at the entrance to Jewel Cave, however, that only adds an extra 1/4 mile one-way to your hike, but this is far easier than going cross country the entire distance. The view from either high point is very scenic, since the forest is not thick and it is an enjoyable hike.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Open Country

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