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West Twin Butte WA | October 2021

K7WXW's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Good digi echos

Summary - West Twin Butte is another easy-to-reach summit and can be paired with Squaw Butte for a two peak day. The summit is small, flat, has trees for wires and good operating positions. As with other peaks in this area, two meter contacts are a challenge, cell service (ATT) works okay, APRS is good.  Google maps gives good directions for the two hour drive from Portland.

Long Version - West Twin Butte is about two hours from Portland. With care, 4WD, and high clearance, you can drive almost to the summit. Google will give you good directions to FR2480, a gravel road off of FR24 at 46.111, -121.773.  Follow this to FR31 and, if you are in a sedan or want to get some foot miles in, park here and hike the last mile and 500 hundred feet of up.  If you are feeling adventurous work your way up the heavily rutted road to the summit trail or stop at a broad open area right below and hike the last quarter mile.  

The short, steep summit trail will be found right before the end of the road. Helpfully indicated with a beer can marker at the top, it is easier to find when going down.  The summit is crowned with the foundation of the old lookout tower and is small, flat and treed. Digital cell service (ATT) is spotty, APRS connections easy, and two meter contacts to urban areas, difficult. While you will have an amazing view of Mount Adams and Mount Saint Helens from below, views up top are limited. Still, this is a nice spot for operating and worth considering for an extended stay.

For an easy two summit day, see this brief on Squaw Butte.