ViewVoting details

Biddle Butte, WA | February 2023 (via publicly-accessible route)

KK7IUD's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know


For this activation, I followed the recommendation made by N7LF in this blog post and came at Biddle Butte (or Mount Zion) from the north through Federally-owned land. I parked along the paved Strunk rd and continued on foot from there. As noted in the aforementioned post, there is a barbed wire fence but there are no signs restricting access. The hike was characterized by the initial fence hop; copious, sharp brambles for the first half; and a short, steep hill near the end. I recommend bringing one or ideally two hiking poles to help with a small stream crossing and the brief, but steep, ascent. Wear long sleeves, robust pants, and boots to protect against the pointy foliage. Once you've traveled far enough south, you'll hit a trail before Mt Zion road which you can follow up to the peak. The trail is wide enough for a vehicle and has wires running up to the infrastructure at the top, so you won't miss it. I had no problem making contacts on 2m FM at the top. 

I used the app OnX to track where I was relative to the public/private ownership boundaries. The usability of this app was nice, but I don't necessarily recommend it. It's primarily used by hunters and is relatively expensive ($20/year for 1 state, $100/year for nationwide maps). However, you can get a 7-day, single-state free trial which is what I used for this trip just to try the app out and make sure I stayed in federal boundaries. 

If you decide to take this route up to Biddle Butte and forget your hiking poles, i've left a stick for you at the spot that I entered. Picture below. 

Quick Stats

Round trip distance: 1.11 mi / 1.79 km

Total Ascent in (ft/km): 392.0 ft / 119.5 m

Time (hike in): 00:30:37

Time (hike out): 00:33:16 (slowed down to take pictures)

Route(s) to/from peak

Fenceline to Peak (Garmin)
Peak back to car (Garmin)

Situation at top

View obstructed by trees (but trees are nice), cell tower infrastructure, windy

Biddle Butte on SOTA Summits

Columbia River Gorge Commission Maps notably the NSA Urban Area Map and the Public/Private ownership boundary map -- shoutout to my bud Jeff (KK7DAK) who sent that last map to me before I left

GMaps directions to where I parked near Biddle Butte from Hwy 14 / Evergreen Hwy

Biddle Butte on SOTA Maps

Biddle Butte on SOTLAS

Pictures / Screenshots 

 My route imposed onto the ownership map provided by Columbia River Gorge Commis
My parking spot - courtesy of OnX app
The parking situation
Where I initially hopped the fence to start the hike
The location where I hopped the fence and the staff I left for the next Ham
There is a 2nd barbed wire fence which does not need to be hopped
Trail you eventually hit which leads up to the peak
many spiky plants
the infrastructure at the top
survey marker at the top
view north from near the top of the peak
view south from the peak
a cool fungus
much security
at&t says hi
warning from verizon
t-mobile peekaboo