Hiked it in awful storm conbditions in 1996, again after a snowfall in 1999 (beautiful). Be sure to enjoy the Merc in Kenton afterwards. Neat area.
This hike consists of a flat walk to the mesa, followed by a steep short stint to get on top, ending with a flat walk to the monument. Nice, easy, short. It was a very pleasant day.
Hiked from the Nature Conservancy's trailhead about 4.2 miles to the summit of Black Mesa in 100 degree heat and under clear skies. Probably the most quiet summit that I have ever visited with the least amount of shade available. Came down by crossing the mesa and finding a way down through the cliffs and hitting the trail about 1 mile from the trailhead. I do not recommend this for others unless you feel comfortable going cross country. The trail is very good and easy to follow with many signs giving milage (one way). So hot even the rattle snakes were hiding. RT time to summit and back; 4 hours-2 up, 1.5 down, and 1/2 hour rest on summit.
The first time we tried to do Black Mesa, in December 1987, we were moving our family across the country. I slid off the farm road on the north side of the mesa (dry road surface, WET under the dry layer!) and tore a hole in my radiator hose. Tied my daughter's sweat shirt around the damage and rushed back to the little store, where the owner (also postmaster, school bus driver, etc.) gave me four milk jugs of water and sent me back to Boise City. It took us a day to get the car fixed, and then we had to get moving to Colorado.
Five and a half years later we were successful. Worried a lot about snakes in the rocks around the rim, but didn't see any. This was number 39 of my 49 state high points, and daughter Vanessa's #38.
My first trip to Oklahoma was a successful one. I got back to the car with about 2 minutes to spare before 3+ inches of rain with very intense lightning befell the area.
If youre afraid of cows, you should probably avoid this one.
Another highpoint alone. This was an easy one. When I climbed it there were no other people on the trail or at the marker. Be sure to go to the South rim of the mesa to just sit and take in the veiw of the surrounding area. I love the lonely open places. This was highpoint #3.
Got there later than I wanted to. So had to hike it at high noon in the BLAZING sun. I don't recommend anyone else doing that! I got a nice sunburn from that. Very, very scenic part of the country. Was a totally clear day. Not a cloud in the sky. Just WAY too HOT. HOT. HOT.
Loved it! People who complain about this one have no sense of history or appreciation for that county. This one shows that highpoint hiking is more than just X-treme dudes hanging off mountaintops. It's about seeing a part of the country that helped shape our history. Walking this trail at sunrise, all by myself, I loved the sounds and sights. I heard roosters crow, cows moo, and birds chirp. I even saw a roadrunner. I could almost see John Wayne or the characters from McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. This country is so different than MN; I think that's why I like it so much. No snakes, either!! :)
We'd gone to Mt. Sunflower the high point in Kansas, then to the lowest point in Colorado, and on to the high point of Oklahoma all in one trip. I like the summit monument with milage to distant places like NY.
Soloed highpoint #17. Saw no snakes, just cows getting in my way! Probably was moving too fast anyway. Highly recommend stopping at the Merc & stayed the night before at the Kenton Kabins, though I hear it's up for sale now.
A nice hike in October (not too hot), though it did seem to wind around the mesa a little wider than neccessary adding a little distance to the overall length. Not much view at the top. We did encounter a black and yellow snake along the trail on the return and a rather large black hairy spider. Also a dead cow whose carcass was just begining to deteriorate with skull and bones starting to show through the hide. All in all a very isolated and interesting area.
This was a nice little hike but it seemed to be excessively long. It was quite hot in early August but it was dry. Our dog Shiloh got a bit too close to a prarie rattler and she also hurt her foot at the bottom of the Mesa herding cattle so watch your dogs, especially in the summer. Take lots of water for both yourself, & your pets.
The views from the obnoxious "summit" marker were splendid. Jennifer and I experienced unparalled solitude on our hike to Black Mesa we saw no one, not even any cars until we were well on our way to Raton.
I dont know if the view at the top was worth the walk in 100 degree temps
I also didn't think it was as long or boring as some folks report. Hiked early in the morning when the heat wasn't too bad. The easy trail made for easy conversation with my hiking companion. My second state HP.
It was a cold (34 degrees) morning at the trailhead when we started out at 6:45am. Warmed up beautifully. It was an awesome hike to do in the morning and hearing the nearby cattle. The terrain is like no place else. Repeat hike, also did it on November 27, 1997
I passed by on my way to Colorado and decided
to knock off another highpoint. After finding the
summit? monument I discovered a nice road to
it from the north.
My family and I made this hike late in the day. It was a great experience. Views are nice. On the way back to our car (northeastward across the mesa) we saw several tarantula's crossing the dirt trail.
Nice hike, I didn't think it was as long or boring as some people seem to. I ran most of the lower part going up and intended to run all the way down until I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. A hundred yards from the trailhead a saw another snake, bright red and at least 6 feet long. Easily the biggest snake I've seen in the wild. Not sure what kind it was but I let him have the trail. I will post a picture of him maybe someone will know what kind of snake it is.
Easy hike, but unbearable heat.