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Winchester Mountain, WA | July 2021

WA7JNJ's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Winchester Mountain Lookout was a dramatic hike with views of Twin Lakes and the surrounding mountains. The hike is 3.4 miles and 1,300 feet of gain, and I tracked a approximately 4.1 miles total due to last remnants of snow right before the trailhead in July. A NW Forest Pass is required.

The last ~2.5 miles of road to the trailhead require a high clearance vehicle (see WTA trail link below). Yellow Aster Butte trailhead parking is the last alternate spot to park if you do not have high clearance, and it will add ~2.5 miles each way and ~1,500 feet of gain to your hike. This was my first planned joint Summit on the Air (SOTA) amateur radio activation with Josh WU7H, and it was a first time hike for the both of us. A few highlights of the trip were Josh helping me with my second CW contact (and a few more)... and a mountain goat showing up to watch WU7H make CW contacts!

Due to summit location mostly surrounded by mountains, VHF/UHF radio comments may be tough unless you have a directional antenna and more than 5 watts of power. I had previously chased KG7EJT on this summit using 146.52... and believe he used a power amplifier. For this activation, I was able to make a few VHF contacts (mostly S2S). There was room in the activation zone for HF antenna's, and enought small trees/etc. to strap a portable mast to. Overall, a beautiful area to enjoy the views... and play a little amateur radio.

This is a popular summit, and there were was a small wedding party that showed up early to set up camping tents. Even with more people on summit, there was enough room to spread out. An amazing summit, and highly recommend.


Trail and Lookout links:

For a video summary of this summit activation with Josh WU7H, please see link below.