ViewVoting details

Orr Mountain, CA | June 2023

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

I was driving back to Portland from Northern California and taking Highway 97 for the scenic beauty. There are a number of 4 and 6 point summits in the region with easy-ish access, so I thought I'd try one or two along the way. A forest service employee recommended Orr Mountain, which has great views, a nice open area at the top and an active fire lookout. 

The drive up is largely on gravel roads. A moderate clearance vehicle is recommended. All or 4 wheel drive wouldn't hurt but wasn't strictly necessary. From Weed, CA, take Highway 97 north for 27.6 miles to Bray Tannen County Rd/Tenant Rd and turn right. Proceed 5 miles, turning left on "Old State Highway" aka Forest Route 44N25. This road is gravel, and in excellent condition. In 2.2 miles at the town of Bray, turn left again onto Orr Mountain Lookout Road. You'll cross railroad tracks first and then a stream via a wooden bridge. Almost immediately after the bridge, turn right and continue to the top. You'll find ample parking for a few vehicles. The fire lookout staff will likely already be there.

The lookout staff (a couple) were welcoming and invited me up. You have uninterrupted views for 100 miles including Mount Shasta to the southwest. I explained that I was doing amateur radio and they had no issues whatsoever.

The activation zone is a broad open area with plenty of room for wire antennas and masts. There are a few places to attach an antenna (trees and the tower) so multiple options should work. Beware the tower is all steel. Be sure to ask the lookout first before attaching anything.

I worked 40m with good success and 20m, all on SSB. Aside from the lookout's FM radio, there's no other RF, so noise levels were low. I would recommend this summit if in the area.