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Mount Defiance | July 2023

KC7JNU's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Lovely mostly shady hike to a peak with a good view of mt hood. Highly recommended activation.


There are a few routes to get to Mount Defiance. We took the hike from Warren lake described here on Oregon Hikers (different from 2012 trip report). 


DO NOT naively plug in the trailhead into google directions. Bins Hill Road (2000) turns to rough gravel just before bins hill staging area, and there are multiple places where the road becomes impassible or locked gates google does not know about. We got there eventually, but I was starting to work out my strategy for how I would gain the upper hand in a survival scenario if it came down to me or KK7DAK.


DO follow the directions conveniently posted at the trailhead. I've included a photo so YOU don't first need to drive there to read the directions. You're welcome.


The hike is lovely. Mostly forested walking path with exposed portions across talus that make a delightful tinkling sounds as you walk the path. About 2.5 miles to the summit.


At the top there is what is probably a communications installation with the large antennas and all. Would have preferred there to be a SOTA shack with cold beer instead, but I guess we'll need to work on that.


There is also an rough gravel road leading to the summit, which we took on the way back down. The gravel is quite large chunks and it's somewhat steep so it wasn't really very nice to walk down honestly. The gate is currently broken so one could potentially with a 4-wheel drive high clearance vechicle do this summit as a drive up. I personally wouldn't want to drive up that road though.


At the summit there is a rocky bit with a good view of Mt Hood for setting up activation. There are a few trees, which aren't much good for shade but can be used to assist with wire antennas. The biggest highlight of the activation was meeting mountain resident Esmerelda; she hung out until I made my 4 contacts, and was delightful company. Had no trouble making 4 contacts on 2m, although at times it seemed to cut out mid-contact. 40m was trash, was able to make a few 20m contacts as far as Arizona.

Directions to trailhead
Myself and KK7DAK in front of a lake on route on the hike
KK7DAK hiking on a talus trail ridge
Butterfly perched on a hand and the hand holding a small transceiver.
KK7DAK sitting on rocky section of hill making contacts
Selfie of myself and KK7DAK with Mt Hood in the background
Steep hill downward with rough gravel
Gravel road with a broken gate