South of Deadman Canyon • Highpoint: Curry County
• Llano Estacado Plateau

N.M. PageMain Page

Date: March 15, 2000 • Elevation: 4,792 feet • Prominence: none • Distance: 0.1 mile • Time: 10 minutes • Gain: 1 foot • Conditions: Clear and cool

The highpoint of Curry County was the second of five I would visit today. The actual highpoint is imperceptible to the eye, located at the northeast corner of the county where two ranch roads intersect.

I started today in Las Vegas along Interstate-25, and with an early start, had hiked Sugarloaf Mountain, the highpoint of Harding County. That one actually involved some effort, but Curry County's highpoint would be simple, requiring essentially no effort at all.

From the north, I drove into the town of San Jon along Interstate-40, then south up the steep bluffs that form the northern boundary of the Llano Estacado, a flat plateau extending over most of eastern New Mexico and parts of Texas. A handful of counties lie atop the plateau, and because the land slopes to the south and east, these highpoints invariably were along the northwestern boundaries.

I followed state routes NM-39 and NM-469 through the town of Wheatland, then east along NM-275 to the Curry County line at Curry County Road 0 (as in zero). According to the map, the county line runs down the center of this road. I went north on Road 0 for two miles to a junction, where Road 0 ended. An east-west road picked up here, but the eastbound segment was gated. I was at the northwest corner of the county, at the presumed highpoint.

Visually, it looked flat. Nothing stood out, and I had to trust the maps. The 7.5-minute topographical map shows a spot elevation of 4,792 feet at this corner, inside a 4,780-foot area extending east about 0.7 mile. All that meant was that the highpoint could be here, or as far as 0.7 miles east. To bolster my confidence, the 1:100,000 topographical map, marked in meters, shows a 1,460-m contour running very close to the northwest corner. Thus, I stayed close to the corner, stepping on berms and mounds, but did not venture farther east so as not to trespass.

From here I continued to Luciano Mesa in nearby Quay County, the third highpoint for the day, and it was not even noon yet.

(c) 2000, 2016 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.