Running up the trail
I drove over 300 miles from Denver, Colorado to Black Mesa. Driving here from Denver is different than coming from the East or West. I did not go through Boise City from the East. Rather, I drove down I-25 to Pueblo, and turned on rt. 50. This took me to La Junta, CO. From La Junta, I drove down rt. 109, where I got my first view of the kind of Mesas I would see in Oklahoma. I took rt. 109 to rt.160, which goes towards Pritchard, CO. However, there is a series of dirt roads that go towards a paved road. The first one I couldn't find, but I found a later one, road W, that goes into road 13, which takes you right onto the main (paved) road to Black Mesa. I found the road easily with a Colorado map, so it shouldn't be that difficult. The road may be route 406, but it doesn't really matter since all you have to do is reach a paved road, and drive West for 10 miles or so until you see a sign for Black Mesa. On the main road, I took a right after seeing the road sign that indicates "Black Mesa Summit 5 miles." Actually, the trail head is 5 miles away. The trailhead is clearly marked.
It was a clear day, about 80 degrees. It looks like you are in the desert, with Southwestern landscapes, a hot and dry climate, and plenty or thorny plants and cacti. I ran/walked the trail, and got to the foot of the mesa in about 25 minutes, though it was about 2.5 miles. Then I hiked up the Mesa, on a semi-steep trail. I ran/walked another 1.5 miles or so to the stone monument. The monument is really well maintained.
I walked further, off-trail, and reached the edge of a cliff. At the cliff edge you are actually in New Mexico, since the state line is only a few feet west of the stone marker. If you look out, you will see some extinct volcanoes. The wind at the cliff edge was extreme, although there was little wind by the stone marker.
This was an enjoyable hike, though only because the skies were clear. Check the weather report for Boise City before venturing on this trip. It apparently stormed severely the two days before I came.
Most of eastern Colorado is flat. Some of Southeastern Colorado has many Mesas, which are pretty and interesting landscapes. In Oklahoma, only the last 7 to 8 miles of the Western Panhandle contain Mesas. Oklahoma does have some other mountains, but they are in other parts of the state, not located in the Panhandle. Perhaps the best hiking in Oklahoma is not in the Mesas, but in the Witchita Mountains, located to the southwest of Oklahoma city.
For those of you who don't know, a Mesa is a flat top mountain of rock left over from lava flows from volcanoes that erupted many many years ago, even before Dick Clark was born! I like the Mesa country, except that bottled drinks cost a fortune in the nearby town of Kenton. I guess that is because there is only one freakin' store. Highpointers will enjoy Black Mesa, which is 100 times more fun than the Kansas or Nebraska highpoints. Happy trails.