Ascent of Black Mesa on 2014-08-21

Climber: Rob Anthony

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, August 21, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Black Mesa
    Elevation:4973 ft / 1515 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hit this state highpoint on the way back from my internship in Houston. Stayed in Texacoma, and drove out the next day. Beautiful County in eastern OK.

Got a late start on the trail around noon, when it was 85 F out. No shade, and the first 2 miles meander through fields parallel to the mesa (which is actually a lava flow). After the mile 2 bench (wooden benches mark each approximate mile), the grade steepens and there are a couple of looser rock switchbacks to gain ~500 ft to get to the crest of the mesa. The best views on this hike are attained on the switchbacks.

The final mile is just a mile walk through fields on top of the mesa. This really is not a peak, just the most western bump in eastward dipping Oklahoma, that happens to be on the lava flow. A granite column marks the high point and lists distances to the neighboring states. New Mexico is less than a quarter of a mile away, where undoubtedly one would not have to go far to find a higher point.

All and all, this was a good excuse to see this part of the state. The hike is somewhat tiring in the sun and some folks from Houston had to turn around. I also saw a couple crazy Germans headed up with a just a mostly empty jug of chocolate milk as I was getting close to the trail head on the return. I'd be surprised if they made it. Light traffic. Only one other person (nice guy from Denver, talked to him quite a bit at the "summit") on the trail other than those I mentioned.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:802 ft / 244 m
    Extra Gain:80 ft / 24 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.6 mi / 13.8 km
    Route:Black Mesa Trail
    Trailhead:Black Mesa Parking lot  4331 ft / 1320 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 6 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 6 Minutes

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