W6PZA's blog

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Poly Top Butte, OR | October 2020

Summit: 
W7O/CE-131

Poly Top Butte is a good second summit to add on a trip to China Hat W7O/CE-053. Here’s a few notes from my activation:

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West Butte, OR | Sept 2020

Summit: 
W7O/CE-111

West Butte (W7O/CE-111) is a prominent peak located about 23 miles east of Bend, north of Hwy 20.  I completed it’s first activation in September 2020, which is surprising considering the mountain’s close proximity to Bend.  While much of the summit is within BLM public lands, access is somewhat limited.  

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Aldrich Mtn and 6401, OR | Aug 2020

Summit: 
W7O/NE-054

Aldrich Mountain in Grant County has two fairly accessible summits that make a nice pair to activate as part of the same day trip.  These include Aldrich Mountain (W7O/NE-054) and 6401 (W7O/NE-205).  Both are 6-point and located in the far western part of the Malheur National Forest, with access from Hwy 26 and Forest Routes 21 (Field Creek Rd) and 2150.  Route 21 is paved while 2150 is a well-maintained gravel road.  Plan for a 15 mile drive on 2150.  There are campgrounds in the area. 

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Williamson Mtn, OR | July 2020

Summit: 
W7O/CM-036

Williamson Peak is a nice day hike in the Cascade Lakes region west of Bend - located in the Three Sisters Wilderness area near Lava Lake.  The best way to reach the mountain is from the Lucky Lake Trailhead, just off Cascade Lakes NS Byway/Lava Lake Road.  From there the hike up to the summit is a little under 4 miles via the Senoj/Six Lakes Trail.  The trail grade varies from near flat to moderate with a total elevation gain of around 1600'. 

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3620 near Camp Sherman, OR

Summit: 
W7O/CN-100

3620 is a fairly easy summit to reach and activate when visiting the Camp Sherman-Upper Metolius River Area.  Access involves a half-mile hike up from Forest Route 1270 with about 300ft elevation gain.  The downside to this summit is the area was burned badly from past wildfires and the hike requires a bushwhack up an abandoned fire road. 

The summit is somewhat flat with a wide activation zone, but very brushy.  There are some live trees to hang a wire, but a support mast is recommended.  I had good Verizon service and was able to self spot.

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Frederick Butte, OR | March 2020

Summit: 
W7O/CE-130

Located about 50 miles SE of Bend off of Hwy 20 is Frederick Butte (W7O/CE-130).  This is a good summit to combine with Hampton Butte (W7O/CE-074) if you’re visiting this part of central Oregon.  Frederick has fairly easy BLM road access to reach the base of the butte - via Frederick Butte Road, 10mi drive south of Hwy 20 - but requires a mile climb bushwhacking up to the summit.  The map below shows the route I took, which I recommend.  There are other more direct routes, but know that near the top it gets very rocky and bushy.  I had good Verizon cell and data ser

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Pt. 5635 - Ochoco NF

Summit: 
W7O/CE-276

Pt 5635 (W7O/CE-276) is in the Ochoco NF approximately 1.5 miles east of Ochoco Divide Campground on Hwy 26.  The summit’s proximity to the highway offers a nice SOTA option when traveling through the area with FS campground accommodations nearby.  Another summit, Ochoco Mountains HP (W7O/CE-080), is also just a short drive from the campground. 

This area has been affected by recent fires, yet there are good sections of live trees along the hike and on the summit that offer shade.  The campground was saved and is in good condition.  

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Little Tamarack... nice activation destination with rental cabin

Summit: 
W7O/NE-137

Little Tamarack Mountain (W7O/NE-137) makes a nice activation destination in north-central Oregon as it's located in the Umatilla NF near a Forest Service rental cabin/lookout with two other summits nearby, including Ng Knob-4820 (W7O/NE-147) and Happy Jack Ridge (W7O/NE-139).  I rented the cabin for two nights.  Activated Little Tamarack on the first day, then bagged the other two summits the next. 

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Highland Flat - Ochoco NF

Summit: 
W7O/CE-140

Highland Flat is located in the Ochoco National Forest, approx 15 miles north of Priveville.  In April 2019 I completed a first-time activation of the summit which is suprising since there's very good forest road access up to near the activation zone.  My activation was more challanging due to snow which resulted in a 4-mile snowshoe hike.  But this is usually an easy 4-pointer and recommended for anyone visiting the Prineville area.