Theodore Roosevelt National Park Highpoint Trip Report

Date: July 20, 2011
Author: Fred Lobdell

I thank Ron Tagliapietra and Edward Earl for their reports, which I found quite helpful. I parked at the same curve where they did. Ron reporeted, in 1998, "limited parking" but, as EE noted, the pullout is now paved and there is room for a number of cars to get well off the road.

I hiked across the prairie dog town and past the abandoned stone building, seeing a dozen or so mountain bluebirds as I passed. I continued generally east-southeast until it became apparent that I was going to have to get up onto the top of the buttes. I made the moderately steep ascent to the top and headed generally northeast, looking for the highest ground.

I found a cairn containing a register, which bore the names af a number of the usual suspects. This cairn appeared to be at the highest ground, so, after adding my name to the register, I headed down a slightly different way than that by which I had ascended. With the interstate only a short distance to the south, it is hard to get lost, and I had no difficulty making my way back past the stone building and through the prairie dog town to my vehicle.

I had lunch at the picnic area near Cottonwood Campground where a bird that I couldn't find in the trees persisted in singing. After I put my stuff back in the vehicle I turned to look back at the picnic area and there it was, out on a branch in plain sight. It was my first lazuli bunting.