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Little Glass Butte, OR | Sep-2012

K7ATN's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
No service at all
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Some stations received, but no digi echos

The roads in this area to access Little Glass Butte might be Ok in a very carefully driven passenger car, but high clearance is recommended. If you are traveling through eastern Oregon this is a worthy six-point peak to check out, especially along with an activation of nearby Glass Butte. The cross-country route finding is pretty straightforward and you'll find a challenge only from the juniper trees checking the clearance of any antennas on your backpack.  

The PDF map below was helpful as there are currently no signs indicating turnoffs to Glass Butte from Highway 20. From Bend, the best access is the dirt road heading south just before MP 77. At about 2.9 miles there is a pond and the main track heads east at this point. Take this rough road about 2 miles to a gated fence. I turned south for about 2/10 of a mile and found a spot to park just up the hill from the oval near "Sleep & Rainbow" on the attached map at a "Y" where there was a wide spot in the road (43.53243 -119.97845). Beyond that point the road was too steep for my vehicle. This location is about 1.1 miles from the summit per GPS. The confusion of roads up there may eventually get within 0.40 miles of the summit but would certainly require four-wheel drive and a good map (the closest road point is at 43.52617 -119.99166). 

From my parking spot I used a combination of cross-country travel and walking on any road that seemed to be going in the right direction. The summit proper has a pile of rocks for an operating position and plenty of juniper trees to support antennas. A GPS with waypoints for the summit AND your vehicle location (and perhaps some points in-between) might make the going easier. 

Although the ground around here is covered with bits of obsidian, as a side trip you could check out the glass "mine" just off the main road at this location: 43.55520 -120.00696. There are probably dozens of such pits, but this one is easy to get to. There's a campsite just off the main road where there is a short trail up the hill. Have a care handling any glass as it is quite sharp - gloves are a good idea. 

Note that although there are good  signals for T-Mobile voice calls, SMS messages did not go through from this Unicel roaming area. 

Obsidian on the hike to Little Glass Butte
Little Glass Butte
Glass Buttes Map