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Pine Mountain and Pine Benchmark, OR | Sep-2012

K7ATN's picture
Summit: 
W7O/CE-058
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Data Cellular Coverage: 
No service at all
Cellular Provider: 
T-Mobile
APRS Coverage: 
Good digi echos

Pine Mountain (W7/CN-058) and Pine Benchmark (W7/CN-068) are close enough that one could easily do both summits in a day. There's a bit of bushwacking and route finding to be done, but at most you are walking less than four miles to do both of these summits. They have good views and are not far outside of Bend and if you spend the night at the summit campground you might check out the telescope at the Pine Mountain Observatory (http://pmo-sun.uoregon.edu/).

Take Highway 20 east from Bend and find the sign to Pine Mountain Observatory just past the (closed) Millican Store near milepost 25. Pine Mountain Road is a good gravel road for any vehicle. BTW, a caveat, I usually records directions and signs when I’m on my way back out from an activation, but as I finished the last activation in the dark, I didn’t document as I would have otherwise. I used a GPS to find the nearest place on the road for each peak.

For Pine Mountain, at about four miles (?) look for a left turn for NF-100 as shown on Google Maps. It might be numbered differently there (250?) but it is the righthand of two roads heading towards the summit. NF-100 also appears to be suitable for any vehicle and will take you to within a quarter mile of the summit. Find a good place to park and hike up the steep hill to the open summit. There are pine trees for stringing antennas and a rock shelter down off the top if you find yourself there on a not so nice day.

For Pine Benchmark, continue up the road another few miles until the road makes a sharp left turn. Here there is a road that can been seen on Google Earth but not on Google Maps. I believe the sign said 350. There is an unlocked gate here and parking for a few cars. This road is probably passable in a high-clearance four wheel drive vehicle but not in a passenger car. It’s about 1.5 miles to a parking area below a rock bluff. Climb this and find the summit a short distance away identified by a windsock. I found an operating position among the rocks near a steel pole that I had considered for mounting my antenna but decided it might not help my signal.

According to this website there is free camping at the unmaintained campground across from the Observatory: http://www.eugenecarsey.com/camp/pinemountainobservatory/pinemountain.htm. Note that the location of the Observatory in Google Maps and Google Earth is not correct but is rather 43.7919 N 120.9413 W. 

Pictures: 
Summit of Pine Mountain with Pine Benchmark in the background
Summit of Pine Benchmark