WA7JNJ's blog

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Steptoe Butte, WA | July 2021

Summit: 
W7W/WE-023

When planning a trip to see family in Idaho, I was looking for summits around Spokane that could be "quick side-trips".  Mount Spokane W7W/WE-006 was my first choice, and the summit that I activated on the way there.  Steptoe Butte was chosen for the drive back home.  Both have been activated multiple times, are easily accessible (drive-up or near drive-up), and have great views.  

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Baby Blue, WA | May 2021

Summit: 
W7W/SN-167

Baby Blue is a 2-point summit located near Sultan, WA.  Other summits have taken priority the last 2 years, but this summit was a great surprise due to views at summit and along the last ~1 mile of road hike.  Parking is located along Sultan Basin Road, and it was ~12 minute drive after turning from Hwy 2.  To get there, I followed Google maps to 47.9222, -121.7486.  A Discover Pass is required.  

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French Point, WA | June 2020

Summit: 
W7W/SN-175

French Point is the site of a former lookout west of Darrington in Snohomish County, and a 1 point summit.  I decided to activate later on a June day, after activating two other summits near Darrington.  The hike is 2 mile round-trip, with ~500 feet of gain.  While a relatively short hike on a decommissioned service road, it's made a bit more difficult with what summitpost.org called "tank traps".  There are multiple deep ditches dug across the road to limit access, and it was more of an annoyance as parts of the road continue to grow over.  This was the first SOTA

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Eagle Point, WA | July 2020

Summit: 
W7W/NO-057

Eagle Point was a very enjoyable 6-point summit located just southeast of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center in Olympic National Park.  After activating the very popular Hurricane Hill W7W/NO-086 last year, I wanted to explore a few summit options nearby along the Obstruction Point Road.  This road is a well maintained dirt road and is generally open from mid-July through October (it is alway good to check road access via the link below).  The road is accessed by turning a sharp left just before the parking lot to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.  

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Stimson Hill (access change), WA | Mar 2020

Summit: 
W7W/SN-160

In March 2019, I nearly reached the summit of Stimson before turning around when it started hailing  Was still newer to SOTA, and in hindsight almost wished I waited the weather out and activated the summit.

In March 2020, planned to activate again and there is a new sign located at primary access gate (Firegate #13) located just off "N Cedarvale Loop Rd" and SW of the summit.  There is now a "Do Not Enter", "Private Road", "No access to state trustland through private property" sign.  

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Blue Mountain (Snohomish County), WA | June 2020

Summit: 
W7W/SN-158

There are many Blue Mountain's, and this one is located in Snohomish County, WA and just east of Sultan.  From parking gate to summit, it involves a 3 mile road hike (6.1 miles round-trip), and ~1,300 feet of gain.  There are some views along the way, and limited views from the summit. With the summit being heavily wooded, I activated near the tower (west / northwest of the summit and ~40 feet below summit per CalTopo map).  Was able to spot from the summit, but AT&T service was not consistent.

Directions:

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Chuckanut Mountain, WA | May 2020

Summit: 
W7W/SK-155

For some reason, Chuckanut Mountain was not on the top of my list for a 2 point summit.  Two reasons were probably the long hike for two points, and uncertainty about going off trail to the summit.  After not hiking for 6 weeks due to Covid-19 lock-downs, this was a great hike to enjoy being back on a trail.  While a bit longer hike, the elevation gain is gradual and the final off-trail summit push is also gradual and easy to traverse.

Directions:

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North Chuckanut Mountain, WA | February 2020

Summit: 
W7W/WH-195

North Chuckanut is a heavily treed summit with very limited views, but is a nice well-marked hike.  On a cloudy and rainy Saturday, the trail was well used.  To access the summit, use the Pine & Cedar Lakes trailhead which is easily accessed off I-5 near Bellingham, WA.  There is good parking and no pass required.

 Directions:

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Skagit Gadget, WA | February 2020

Summit: 
W7W/SK-172

Skagit Gadget is a 1-point summit, located within ~20 minutes of I-5 in Skagit County.  Some of the area has been logged, and it is a 4 mile road hike with ~700 ft of gain.  Both times I've actived as a second summit for the day, and was thankful to squeeze in enough vhf contacts before a new UTC day rollover.  Trees are starting to grow near the summit activation area, but there are some views at summit...and more views hiking up.  

Directions:

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Badger Mountain, WA | September 2019

Summit: 
W7W/WE-061

While in the Tri-Cities area for a family event, was able to activate Badger mountain later in the afternoon.  The trail is very open, and would be very hot during the middle of summer days.  In the evening, there were many people using the trail.  Since the trail is so open, I enjoyed the views for miles around and seeing the Tri-Cities from a different perspective.