ViewVoting details

Round Top, OR | July 2022

N7KOM's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Round Top is a nice mostly drive up activation. Being me, I had to do it the hard way: Mountainbiking from Gale's Creek Campground. It is an 18 mile round trip ride with ~3000' elevation gain. 

I recommend doing some stretches or warmups before heading out because the hardest part of this ride is the first few miles: steep trail that gets the blood moving. Overall the trail is a singletrack and mostly follows the creek through the forest. Not much for views, but there are the occasional waterfall and views of Gale's Creek. 

Being a beginner rider, the ride out had plenty of steep up sections that I had to hike my bike on. The cross country portions of the trail were rather nice and very enjoyable to ride on. The trail is in good condition, if overgrown here or there, but the overgrown sections are never very long and the trail opens back up shortly after the brush. The brush and cliffside make the trail easy to follow. 

It's a gradual uphill climb with some rolling downhill and some steep punchy climbs. Towards the north end of the trail, it enters some switchbacks. I had a tough time making these turns going uphill, but the trail is good and fun to ride between turns. 

The upper trail after the switchbacks is rocky and a little steep before spiting out at Bell Camp Trailhead. Take a right here and navigate up Round Top Road, passing a yellow gate. The road to the Round Top summit is steep and gets a good sweat going. 

On summit, it was cold and windy with rainclouds coming towards me and a drizzle starting. I neglected to pack a jacket. Since I was wet with sweat, it wasn't fine conditions for sitting around working HF. I got out my FT-60r, MFJ longranger, and utilized a bandpass filter (there's a big tower up there). I spotted on 2m fm and quickly got 7 QSOs over a couple of minutes. With that, I packed up and rolled downhill back to Bell Camp TH. Careful, it's easy to miss the turn coming down from Round Top, I had to climb a bit extra to get back on course. 

At Bell Camp TH it was much warmer and I took the opportunity to eat some food and rest for the downhill. 

The downhill is where this trail really shines. Many of the uphill technical sections are much easier to roll over with gravity on your side. It is a super fun ride back to Gale's Creek Trailhead. Just keep in mind that this is a multi-directional, multi-use cross country trail. There will be hikers on trail and other mountainbikers. 

Up was just shy of 2 hours with breaks. 



Tokul by waterfall
Sign and gate on round top
Sign on gate for Round Top
Bell Camp Trailhead