Shady Trail

Decent tree cover for most of the trail
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Montana – Crown Mountain 29August2017

Summit: 
W7M/CL-030

Scrambling much of the Rocky Mountain Front’s limestone summits keeps you looking for good footing as well as viewing the many ancient fossils of life when these high mountains were an ocean floor some 300 million years ago.   The fossils are common and so are trails of big horn sheep and mountain goats.  The views are outstanding of surrounding rugged SOTA summits and to the east, the vast plains of Montana. 

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Montana - Homer Youngs Peak 11Aug2017

Summit: 
W7M/BE-009

Homer Youngs Peak is a great hike/scramble over mostly good trail.  The final ascent is in open terrain and somewhat arduous bouldering.  It is typical of high alpine in the area and the views, barring summer wildfire smoke can be tremendous.  Several alpine lakes are visible and other high summits that you’ll deem ‘gota get’.  A good base camp is at Miner Lake, a popular, but underutilized US Forest Service Campground with good facilities and a fine grayling lake fishery.

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Idaho – Salmon Mountain 5August2017

Summit: 
W7I/IC-012

This is a delightful mile scenic hike to an active US Forest Service Lookout. The staff was very friendly and knew about ham radio. Views are spectacular unless you are there in the middle of an active fire season when smoke obscures the mountains. Getting there is over the better-maintained portion of the Magruder Corridor Road approximately 14 miles west of the Magruder Crossing. The lookout trail begins as an old road, but then transitions to a single-track trail through a very open grass/forb corridor, a snow glade, where deep winter snow drifts persist into the late spring growing season and prevent trees from growing. Steep mountain cliffs, cirques and mountain lakes are adjacent to the trail to the east.

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Idaho - Nez Perce Peak 26Jun2017

Summit: 
W7I/IC-143

Nez Perce Peak is on the historic Nez Perce route to the eastern bison hunting grounds.  It was also used by prospectors and traders.  It is accessed by a steep-unmarked trail approximately 3 miles beginning on the Magruder Corridor road along Deep Creek.  The open grassland summit has excellent views of the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.  There are trees for wire antennas or lots of open space for other antennas.  Only a few wires, outhouse trail and stacked rock remain of the old US Forest Service Lookout. 

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Idaho - Nick Wynn Mountain 17Jun2017

Summit: 
W7I/IC-276

This old Forest Service Lookout site has only a crumpled outhouse, concrete anchor blocks and a few pieces of rusted metal remaining.  Young trees have grown up and have limited somewhat the view of the surrounding landscape.  It is a short, but steep hike very typical of the ‘ridge access trails’ climbing out of the Selway River.  Along the trail though are many old ponderosa pine with large rectangles of missing bark on their boles where the historic Nez Perce people peeled back the bark centuries ago to remove the underlayer of sweet cambium, the growing part of a tree (see photo below). Peoples footprints have been on this area for thousands of years.

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Idaho - Indian Ridge 15Jun2017

Summit: 
W7I/IC-264

Indian Ridge is accessed by trail beginning on the Selway River near Indian Creek Campground. This US Forest Service primitive campground is famous from the humous outdoor book INDIAN CREEK CHRONICLES where the author, college student Pete Fromm spent a winter watching over an Idaho Fish and Game artificial salmon rearing channel. The well- marked summit trail climbs through towering centuries-old ponderosa pine open-forest and some recent fire snag forests.

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Montana – University Mountain 28Dec2016

Summit: 
W7M/LM-145

University Mountain with an adjoining lower non-SOTA summit, Mount Sentinel overlooks the city of Missoula.  Access is by three main routes, a road (closed to motor vehicles) or two trails.  It is a communication site for several Agency repeaters and a popular summit in summer and winter for hikers, mountain bikers and cross-country skiers.  The subordinate summit to the west is a launch site for hang gliders.  Visitors can be expected on any of your SOTA activations here.

 

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Montana – Castle Rock 12Oct2016

Summit: 
W7M/RC-112

Castle Rock is a popular hike from Nez Perce Pass on the Bitterroot National Forest. It can also be accessed from a trailhead near Bare Cone Lookout to the east. Both routes are about the same distance and terrain. The last 200 feet is a scramble to the summit over loose rock and bedrock from either a notch in the cliffs on the west side or more open loose rock routes on the east side. Most folks will be using both hands and feet on this one. Summit views are tremendous to the north where you’ll be looking into the rugged southern mountains of the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness Area.

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Montana – Comet Mountain 28Sept2016

Summit: 
W7M/BE-032

This is an easily accessible summit in the southern end of the East Pioneer Mountains. Getting there follows the Wise River/Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway. This truly scenic route is much like driving through Yellowstone National Park’s mountains and lodgepole pine forests, and meadows, but absent the geysers, mud pots, and bison. The mountains are closer and more rugged and cattle instead of bison are scattered in summer throughout the forest and meadows. There are many well maintained campgrounds along the route.

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Upper Table Rock, OR | Nov 2017

Summit: 
W7O/CS-157

Upper Table Rock is a very pleasant 1.25 mile, 736 foot gain (one-way) hike east of Central Point, Oregon. The trail is quite popular, but you should easily find a place to activate away from the crowds on the huge summit.