State Highpoints – Oklahoma - 4,973-foot Black Mesa
Oklahoma’s highest point and the 23rd highest US state summit, 4,973-foot Black Mesa is located in the far west end of the Oklahoma panhandle, 28 miles west of Boise City, Oklahoma. The top of Black Mesa is quite flat, and the actual highpoint only has three feet of prominence. The highpoint is only 510 yards east of the New Mexico/Oklahoma state line, and higher ground is not far away in New Mexico. Fortunately, there is a nice 9-foot high obelisk to mark the OK highpoint. The highpoint is in the Black Mesa Nature Preserve, and no vehicles, horses, bicycles, or ORVs are allowed in the preserve. The preserve is only open from dawn to dusk.
The standard route up Black Mesa requires a hike of 8.7 miles round trip with an elevation gain of only 768 feet. The average round trip hiking time is about three and a half hours. To reach the trailhead for this hike, go to Boise City, Oklahoma, then go 35 miles west on OK State Road 325 to a blacktop road marked “Colorado.” If you reach Kenton, you have gone 0.6 mile too far. Turn right (north) on the “Colorado” road and follow it for 4.7 miles to the trailhead on your left. You can also reach this trailhead from Raton, Colorado. For your hike, climb the stile over the wire fence, then read the information sign. Go west on the well marked trail, that is an old jeep road. After about two easy miles, you will reach a point where the trail turns left and heads up the hill to reach the top of the mesa. Follow the trail as it switchbacks up to the mesa top, then turn right on the trail toward the highpoint. Be aware that there can be rattlesnakes on this trail. After a final three-quarters of a mile, you will reach the highpoint obelisk, where there should be a register nearby. If you choose to climb on top of the obelisk, be advised that it will require the hardest moves of your expedition. If you need more exercise, you can walk west to the New Mexico border and tag the 4,970-foot Oklahoma state line highpoint that is at 36.9324º 103.0022º.