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Saddle Mountain, OR | October 2017

K7ATN's picture
Summit: 
W7O/NC-004
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
Verizon
APRS Coverage: 
Good digi echos

Saddle Mountain might be considered an Oregon "Classic" SOTA hike. Positives are easy access to the trailhead, a lovely hike, wonderful views (in good weather) and a reasonable five miles round trip. Still it is not an easy hike, with 1600 feet of elevation gain, and you won't be alone as it's quite popular on any weekend with decent weather.

Don't confuse this with W7O/NC-002 - another Saddle Mountain off Highway 6. That one is often called "South" Saddle Mountain.

Travel out Highway 26 to Seaside and Cannon Beach. You'll find the trailhead access well signed to the "Saddle Mountain Natural Area" about 11 miles from the Highway 101 junction. The 7 mile road to the trailhead is paved,but it is windy and quite narrow. You will find parking at the trailhead if you arrive early enough on a weekend - otherwise you'll be down the road a bit. There's a restroom there, and camping is available.

We saw our first below freezing temperatures of the year while traveling Highway 26 and found a few icy spots on the hike. With some steep pitches on the trail, this may not be an Activation to try when wet or icy.

Here's a good description: http://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Saddle_Mountain_Hike.

The summit is surrounded by a railing for good reason - people have fallen from this rocky peak. We carefully stepped out onto the area south of the railing to set up away from other hikers - and there were quite a few. Even with an early start at the trailhead (9am) and finding only a few cars there, we were eventually joined by about 30 people on the small summit. There are no trees nearby, but a few old posts can be used to support support a fiberglass pole for a 40m EFHW.

Pictures: 
Saddle Mtn Natural Area
Inland clouds as seen from Saddle Mtn hike
Summit of Saddle Mountain