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1650 - Drift Creek Wilderness HP

K7EEX's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Good digi echos

Peak 1650 is the highest point in the Drift Creek Wilderness area, a special area that preserves some of the oldest trees on the Oregon Coast and a nearly pristine ecosystem along the creek.  To get to 1650, set your GPS to the Horse Creek North Trailhead at 44.4411, -123.9091.  There are multiple paths through the paved and well-maintained gravel roads eventually getting you to the trailhead where you’ll find spots for five or six cars.  Along the road you’ll get glimpses at the backside of Marys Peak (W7O/CC-001) and the nearby Table Mountain (W7O/CC-016).  Enjoy them now as the trail will have no views as it wanders through the dense forests.

Drift Creek Wilderness Trailhead

The trailhead is nearly the same elevation as the summit that sits roughly 1.3 miles down trail.  Once you’ve walked between a set of boulders clearly marking the way, you’ll find a mellow trail through a second growth forest.  That said, you won’t be in the activation zone until you are almost at the summit as the path undulates up and down.

The summit itself sits slightly off the trail, but the trail itself is well within the activation zone.  Needless to say, the dense forest provides ample spots for throwing an antenna up.  I made the mistake of bringing a linked dipole cut for 60m which turned into a challenge to string through the branches and brush.

After evaluating the obscure location of the peak, I was pessimistic about my ability to get out any self-spots via cell phone, APRS signals, or any contacts on VHF.  In reality, I was getting regular APRS pings and was able to easily self-spot on my cell phone.  But my pessimism on VHF was spot on and was unable to reach anyone on 146.52 or 146.58-FM.

I recommend this peak for others to check out.  While it is only a one-pointer, the drive in is pleasant and doable in a sedan, the hike is mellow and short, and the scenery is beautiful, even if there are no views.