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Barlow Ridge, OR | Aug-2012

K7ATN's picture
Summit: 
W7O/CN-028
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
T-Mobile
APRS Coverage: 
Good digi echos

Barlow Ridge is a pleasant three mile or so hike east of Mount Hood. Although relatively close to Portland the trail is seldom used, (especially past Barlow Butte) and has a nice 'wild' character about it. In other words, the trail seldom sees maintenance. It's a leg stretcher with about 1000 feet of net gain, but quite a bit more elevation change with all the ups and downs along the ridge line. Quite a bit more. 

The links below give good information on how to get to the trailhead from the Barlow Pass Sno-Park and then down the Old Barlow Road about 1/8 of a mile to Trail #670. Watch for the signs at subsequent junctions to stay on #670 and climb to the ridge. The trail is quite steep in places, and has not seen a lot of maintenance with many downed trees.

Have a care not to activate Barlow Butte - it's the first high point you come to on this trail and by all appearances it is also begging to be activated (but is not a SOTA summit). Barlow Ridge is about a mile to the SE from Barlow Butte and the trail junction is not all that obvious. See the photo below and be sure to turn right down this trail around 45.27494, -121.66817.

The second photo shows the ridge line and the summit of Barlow Ridge behind. There are a few places where you need to scout around to find the trail and there are a few rock cairns and flagging tape to help you on your way. A GPS can give you some confidence that you've reached the summit proper and to not plow onward past the high point. There are a number of operating positions (rocks to sit on) and trees to support antennas. You may not reach anyone on 2m FM without a yagi from Barlow Ridge - even during a contest weekend it was a challenge to work a few around Portland.

There's a map and trail information here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5400513.pdf

You should check out the report by KK7DS and K7TAY on their winter activation of this peak: http://www.danplanet.com/blog/2012/01/15/returning-to-the-scene-of-the-crimes/.  The photos from their previous trip to Barlow Ridge are excellent: http://static.danplanet.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=22879&g2_page=1.

Pictures: 
Here is the trail junction that leads to Barlow Ridge
Barlow Ridge
KK7DS's picture

Whoa

It's weird to see some of the same places without snow. We've only ever been there in winter...