W7MTB's blog

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Pine Ridge, OR | October 2023

Summit: 
W7O/CE-208

Pine Ridge is an easy to moderate hike along a double track and easy bush wacking. Any passenger car should be able to navigate to the place we parked and many would likely have no trouble driving further up the 2 track if desired. We had plenty of activity on 2M and I wouldn't expect any trouble activating 2M only. The views of the Grasslands and Central Oregon Cascades are fantastic and the solitude is remarkable for the ease of access.

Full Report here

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Wizard Island, OR | September 2023

Summit: 
W7O/CS-038

Wizard Island was on my “Must Do” list since I learned it was a SOTA summit and it did not disappoint.

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Ball Butte, OR | September 2023

Summit: 
W7O/CM-007

FS-370/380 are both unmaintained roads and high clearance/4WD vehicles are highly recommended. FS-370 from Todd Lake to the intersection with FS-380 is passable in a less capable vehicle but FS-380 is very rough. I have driven both in the past in a front wheel drive Honda Element and we did see several passenger cars in the parking area but you have been fairly warned. There is not an established trail and the approach involves some steep and loose cinder slopes. I would classify this as an intermediate to advanced hike, requiring good fitness and route finding skills.

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East Butte, OR | August 2023

Summit: 
W7O/CE-317

East Butte is a moderate hike with fairly easy access that most passenger cars would have no problem with. It has beautiful 360 views of SE Deschutes County Oregon and is very worth the drive. It would also make a great motorcycle SOTA outing when the trail to the top is open.

 

Full report here

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Sheridan Mountain, OR | August 2023

Summit: 
W7O/CM-025

Didn't activate but rode up on my motorcycle to see how passable the road is since the last report was quite old. The road is good most of the way, but it does have ruts in a couple of spots that would be difficult to navigate if in a low clearance vehicle. The last 1/4-1/2 mile is not drivable in anything but a very capabable 4x4 and would require an OHV permit as it is part of the Edison Butte OHV Trail #3. There is a tree down across part of the road here, and a good wide spot to park and walk from here up to the shelter or on to the summit.

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Fox Butte, OR| August 2023

Summit: 
W7O/CE-091

Fox Butte is an easy activation IF you are equipped with HF. I wouldn't rely on 2M unless maybe you bring a yagi to help get your signal to Bend. The roads are in much better than expected shape, and other that the fact that it is a long drive, it was quite pleasant and any passenger car can make the trip.

 

Full report here

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No Name 7032 Near Todd Lake, OR | Aug 2023

Summit: 
W7O/CM-152

It was a bit surprising that this summit had not been activated. It is a fairly easy hike but it does require a back country permit for access in the Three Sisters Wilderness, which may have put some folks off. Also, Todd Lake is quite busy in the Summer tourism months and permits are limited, though we had no trouble getting one a couple days prior to our planned outing.

 

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Mt Bailey, OR | July 2023

Summit: 
W7O/CS-004

Mt. Bailey is a 5 mile, 3600 ft ascent with a few tricky sections to test your hiking mettle. There are two access points, one is easily reached via any passenger car, the other would require a high clearance vehicle and possibly all wheel/4 wheel drive. Its a beautiful hike, but can be hot and buggy so bring plenty of food/water and bug spray (Ben’s 30% DEET worked well for us). I would consider this an intermediate hike due to the elevation gain and some of the exposure, but bringing a new/young hiker along is reasonable with the proper support.

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Black Butte, OR | July 2023

Summit: 
W7O/CM-033

Black Butte is a moderate hike, with phenomenal views of the Central Oregon Cascade range. There is an active fire tower that should be avoided, as the public is not allowed near the tower during fire season. The hike is a 2.1 mile, steady pitch that ascends 1600ft from the parking area. Getting to the trailhead can be done in any passenger car, though the last mile is a bit rough due to a lot of runoff from the heavy snows this past winter. From US Highway 20 turn South on FS-11, then take a left on FS-1110 to the parking area.