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Taylor Butte, OR | March 2018

KF7PSC's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Cellular Provider: 

Planned on a camping trip for a few weeks to the area so I'd scouted out the summits on the map and noted routes in. Our orignal plan was to camp at and activate W7O/CE-265 - 6057 but in the weeks leading up to the trip, lots of snow had fallen in the higher elevations.

We decided on a campsite across the Crooked River Gorge from the outlet of Prineville Reservoir. As we headed south from Prineville that afternoon we realized it was still pretty early in the day. I convinced the group I was with to head up to the viewpoint below Taylor Butte. I had my radio with me and wanted to do an activation but hadn't talked to them previously about it and didn't think they'd be interested in going up there for the activation.

We drove up to the end of the road and were enjoying the view, I was getting ready to launch my drone, when my radio crackled to life. It was KF7HIZ on Frog Lake Buttes CQing. I quickly grabbed the mic and answered him. After talking to him, I made the split decision to head up to the summit to attempt an activation.

I hurriedly told my friends I'd be right back, grabbed my HT & antenna and headed up the mountain. Where we parked was about 200 feet below the summit and about 1000 feet in map distance. It took less than five minutes to meander my way up the trail to the summit. I quickly threw my antenna on and made my S2S contacts with KF7HIZ and K7FOP on Frog Lake Buttes. They then packed up their gear because they had a long snowshoe back to the parking lot. I turned my attention to getting additional contacts to make the activation official.

I tried CQing for a few minutes from different parts of the summit, figuring Prineville (15 miles) or Bend (25 miles) were my best bets for contacts. After a few minutes of no luck, I switched over to a repeater on Grizzly Mountain outside Prineville and made contact with N0RYK who was mobile in Prineville and able to switch over to simplex.

After talking to him, I worked simplex for a while longer but knew my friends were still waiting for me at the car. I got on Grizzly Mountain again and made contact with K7SQ in SW Bend who was able to switch over to simplex for a good contact with a great radio report.

For access, head south on Highway 27 from Prineville. After you pass Reservoir Road on the right, look for an unmarked gravel road directly across from milepost 24. Just follow that up to the end of the road.

The road up was mostly dry, with a few spots of light gumbo mud under a dry crust but was easy to navigate. There were a few rocks to meander around but I made it up no problem to the parking/viewpoint over Bear Creek Canyon. See also this trip report here: