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Mt Constitution Activation 4/25/14

N7KRN's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

This Friday afternoon activation happened on a cool day with the sun breaking through a few clouds for a beatiful sky above the epic scenery. It takes a ferry ride from Anacortes to Orcas Island to get here, but it's sure worth the trip! The main road goes from the ferry dock right through Moran State Park. Turn left at the Y onto the Mt Constitution road, which can take you all the way to a sizeable parking lot at the top. A brief pathway leads up to the peak with a stone lookout tower that is just too cool not to climb. 

I opted to walk in along the Little Summit Trail accessed from the Cold Springs Trailhead located off of the Mt Constitution road about 1.6 miles from the summit near Cold Springs. This is not the Little Summit Trailhead you'll pass first. Be aware that you may be sharing the trail with mountain bikers - step to the side and give them room to pass. This trail has great views when it's a clear day. I believe the total elevation gain is about 600', and the trail can be a bit steep at times - but it's short and not difficult. When the Cold Springs Trail intersects the Little Summit Trail at .3 miles, turn left towards the  "Stone Tower" and the main summit about another mile away. 

Arriving at the top after the 40-minute walk, I dawdled a bit making some 2 meter contacts and (of course) climbing the tower and taking pictures. It was convenient to set up my wire dipole off to one side and away from the main viewing area. Attaching the telescoping pole to a small tree, I appreciated not needing to use any guy lines since there were a fair number of visitors coming and going during my time there.  

This summit has very easy access, fantastic views of the San Juan Islands, Cascade Mountains, and into Canada. It would be fun to use a rotatable dipole here. If you park at the lower Little Summit Trail, you can expect a pleasant 2.2 mile hike to the top - which took me a bit more than an hour on a subsequent visit to the park.

With a high-powered TV transmitter close by, some HT may get blocked on 2m FM. Using a rubber duck antenna or the radio attenuator may help to you hear calling stations.