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Dutton Ridge - Crater Lake National Park - Sept, 13, 2015

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Dutton Ridge is one of many peaks located within Crater Lake National Park. There is no
established trail up the ridge but it is easily reached by taking the rim road east from
the lodge.  Once passing the trailhead to Sun Notch, the road rises to a very wide curve
that straddles the shoulder of Dutton Ridge. There is a pullout in the apex of the corner.

Park at the pull-off and proceed directly uphill staying just to the right of the trees
in the open pumice plain. The terrain is very soft especially at the beginning but gets
firmer the nearer the top of the ridge you get. Getting to the summit takes a little
longer than you'd think because of the soft footing. It took me about 45 minutes. Coming
down was a lot faster.

As you get towards the summit, there are "tree islands" in the pumice fields where you can
get shelter from wind or sun as needed. The walk up to the summit is very enjoyable with
great views to the south. Its about 1.25 miles to the highest point on the ridge with 800
feet of altitude gain. If you continue past the summit, Dutton Cliff has commanding views
of Crater Lake.

The summit itself is a nice tree island and is a beautiful site to operate from. There are
great views in most directions from the summit. Unfortunately, the day I was there it was
very smoky and views were less than optimal. There are plenty of various sized trees for
about any antenna you want to put up. The summit area is spacious with many possibilities
for setting up shop.

This Sunday morning I was on the air early, about 9:30am. On 20 meters, east coast stations
N4EX, VE2JCW, and AC1Z were booming in. Closer in stations were not as loud and most west
coast stations were a difficult copy. I worked 20 stations in 18 minutes.

On the way back you can often see where you parked so navigation is easy. If its foggy, be
sure to keep the trees on your right returning else you will go down the wrong shoulder and
end up far from your car.

More info may be found at:

I highly suggest Dutton Ridge as an activation site if you are in Crater Lake NP. Its
easily accessed, has great views and a very usable summit. Its a special place, so please
take care of it by remembering that this is a national park and that everything is protected - trees, rocks, soil. No tying antennas to trees or putting stakes in the ground. 

Looking south on ascent of Dutton Ridge, very smoky day
Dutton Ridge summit tree island
Eastward view from Dutton Ridge towards Applegate and Garfield Peaks