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Oklahoma High Point - Black Mesa - Kenton, Oklahoma

Our Hike In The Black Mesa Preserve In The Western Oklahoma Panhandle - January 30, 2010

Black Mesa Preserve, OK

The Oklahoma High Point ... now this is a hike worthy of your time! Don't be fooled into thinking Black Mesa is like the Kansas and Nebraska high points, where its qualities on the plains make it an easy visit. Reaching the Oklahoma high point requires effort. This 4.2 mile trail (one way) could be harsh on hot summer days, as there is little shade to provide cover from the sun. The exposure, coupled with the length of the trail, will likely intensify the elements such as sun, heat, wind, rain or cold. Be prepared!

Directions: From Kenton, Oklahoma, travel a short distance east on Highway 325 and make a left (north) at the sign for the Black Mesa State Preserve. (If you are coming from the east as we did, travel west on Highway 325 from Boise City, OK. The preserve turnoff will be on your right (north). If you reach Kenton, you have gone too far.) Travel five miles and make a left into the trailhead parking lot - a sign on the road also reads Black Mesa Preserve.

Warning: Keep in mind there are two seperate entities, the Black Mesa State Park and Black Mesa Preserve. If you want to ascend this high point, you must go to the preserve. The state park is located southeast of Kenton and consists of a lake. Of course, examine Google maps if you are unacquainted with the area before your visit.

Thanks for visiting! -Steve Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Black Mesa - The Oklahoma High Point
Oklahoma High Point
In a seemingly random spot, this monument marks the Oklahoma High Point on Black Mesa. The sign shows various distances: a mere 1,299 feet to New Mexico (to the west), 4.7 miles to Colorado, 53 miles to Kansas and 31 miles to Texas.

Special thanks to Stephen, Kim and Kent Naegele for driving and coming along. For all of them, this was their first U.S. state high point which made it a very special visit!

Black Mesa Preserve, OK

The Hike

An artistic gate at the trailhead.

Black Mesa Preserve, OK

Black Mesa Preserve, OK

Black Mesa Preserve, OK

This trail travels through high plains lush with pinions, cholla cacti and yuccas. Majestic mesas dotted the scenery, giving it an old western flavor. This felt like "lonely cowboy country" to me! In fact, we did not encounter another hiker during our visit.

As seen in the adjacent photos, much of the trail was covered in approximately 3-6 inches of snow.

Ahhhh ... Look at those views!

Black Mesa Trail For whatever reason, I seemed to be ahead of my group throughout the day. Hence, all the photos of my buddies on the trail.

In this photo, we had already ascended the butte and were approximately 0.8 miles from the monument.

Chollas So many beautiful chollas out there! :)
Black Mesa Oklahoma High Point

Oklahoma High Point

Black Mesa, The Oklahoma High Point

There we are! It was a long walk and the snow made it especially tough, but we were elated to be there! :)

As for me, this was my 17th U.S. state high point visit. Below are all 20 in the order I visited them ...

  • New Jersey High Point
  • Florida High Point
  • Colorado High Point
  • Pennsylvania High Point
  • Maryland High Point
  • West Virginia High Point
  • Delaware High Point
  • Connecticut High Point
  • Iowa High Point
  • Minnesota High Point
  • Wisconsin High Point
  • North Dakota High Point
  • South Dakota High Point
  • Nebraska High Point
  • Kansas High Point
  • Arkansas High Point
  • Louisiana High Point
  • Mississippi High Point
  • Missouri High Point
  • Oklahoma High Point

    Two views at the high point. The top photo is facing west toward New Mexico. Considering how close it was (1,299 feet), I suppose we could have walked into New Mexico, but we didn't feel like it. We were tired! :p)

    To all my Oklahoma friends, I did it! I confess my only experiences in Oklahoma have been when I'm driving through to attend an Arkansas Razorbacks football game. This page is the very first Oklahoma page on my website.

    Extra Photos Taken "On The Way"...

    The day began with a photo of stubbles from Kim's milo field in her backyard in Johnson City, Kansas.

    Milo Stubble Field
    We had some distance to drive to reach the western Oklahoma panhandle. Beginning in Stanton County, KS, we drove through Richland KS, Elkhart KS, Keyes OK and Boise City OK.

    Adjacent are photos of Kent and Kim (newly married!) in the backseat. Kent is the friend whom I once stole his wifi from, but we worked through that little tiff! :p)

    BELOW LEFT: 13-year-old Michael was mainly quiet as he watched movies and played games on his PSP (or whatever that contraption is called). Michael didn't want to hike with us and so he sat in the truck at the trailhead during our adventure.

    BELOW RIGHT: 17-year-old Stephen did all of the driving. Yes ... allowing a teenager to drive us was an experience in itself, but this kid is very responsible and drives safely!

    Kent & Kim Naegele

    Stephen Naegele

    A highway in western Kansas. Not much out there!

    My Kansas pages:

  • Kansas Turnpike
  • Kanorado, KS
  • Stanton County, KS High Point
  • Western Kansas
    West of Boise City, Oklahoma on Highway 325.

    My Video

    Enjoying the moment.
    Someone Else's Video

    More professional than mine.

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