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Frog Lake Buttes, OR | July 2023

WJ7V's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Frog Lake Buttes is a popular SOTA destination that was moved slightly from its old high point in March of 2023. The old summit plays host to a cell tower and is accessible via both road and trail. The new summit lies approximately 0.4 miles NE of the old one with a deep enough col between the two that a new designator was assigned. This new summit requires a short bushwhack from the old and is easily accessible during summer months.

From the Frog Lake Snow Park, you have a couple of options. The easiest is to walk up Frog Lake Buttes Road, which veers to the left down the road to the campground after 0.2 miles. This is an easy road walk of approximately 2.5 miles. Stay left after 2.1 miles.

As an alternate, you can pick up trail 530, either from this road or beginning at the Frog Lake Campground. Distances and vertical are similar either way.

At the towers, stay right to arrive at a 3 way junction. Take the middle route and then take the subsequent right fork after 0.1 miles.

Take Center Road at Towers

Take this middle fork.

Take Right Path

Take this right fork.

As this second fork starts to veer left in 0.1, you will proceed NE (to the right) off trail here through huckleberry and young conifers downslope. This transitions to a very small meadow. Continue into the trees of the next summit hill and continue uphill to the top. Descent and ascent are both around 100-120 feet vertical on modest slopes.

There are plenty of trees and space for wires, masts, etc. GPS is recommended to retrace your steps back to the road. No interference was observed from the RF site to the SW. I was able to work a few stations on 2m FM in Portland, but this required a half wave whip and was extremely sensitive to position. I’d recommend a gain antenna, perhaps a small yagi.

NOTE: It is possible to drive to the old summit but only if you have a capable 4wd vehicle with clearance. Hiking the road is a nice alternative, esp. on a cool morning.