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South Helena Ridge (1.7 miles, 800 ft)

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This unobtrusive summit offers a quiet, easily accessible QTH that may be conveniently accessed via the popular "Helena Ridge Trail". The Helena ridge trail is a scenic 7 mile ridge trail that connects from the trailhead at Park City to Mount Helena City Park (and on into downtown Helena). The trail is excellent for hiking or biking, and there is ample parking at the Park City trailhead. Follow the trail from the parking lot as it cuts up and around the north slope and eastern shoulder of the hill that overlooks the parking lot. The trail will level off near the top of the hill and traverse through a meadow that is in a shallow saddle. Leave the trail as it contours off to the north, and continue climbing westerly on the gentle forested slope to the summit (1.7 miles, 800 feet vertical).

This was my first activation (back in 2014).  We did it "the long way" by walking from our house in downtown Helena.  It is a 7-mile hike to the summit from home, mostly on city and USFS trails.  I didn't have any dedicated SOTA gear at that time, so I grabbed what I had:  IC-7000, 100-feet RG-8X, homemade dipole, SLAB batteries ...  Our packs may have been heavy, but we had a great time!