David Hodge N6AN on the summit
29 APRIL 2023 W6/CT-073
|Route:||Dirt road and use trail|
|Hike Distance:||4 miles round trip|
|Navigation:||A bit tricky|
|Road:||Forest service dirt|
|Cell Coverage:||Excellent (Verizon), APRS Excellent|
David N6AN and I had been talking about doing another activation together for a while and we finally settled on a early Saturday morning rendezvous in Pasadena at 6:00 AM. The day promised to be fair and mild as we headed east for the San Bernardino Mountains. Originally we were thinking about Bertha Peak, but David had suggested Silver Peak. This held a certain allure for me because this was an HPS summit that I had never done and it would be a unique for David as well.
We drove up Poligue Canyon Road far enough to determine that it was open before we decided to forsake Bertha and venture on out to Silver.
Silver Peak is named after the long history of mining in the area. Silver was first discovered on the south slope of this peak (1873). This resulted in the short-lived Arlington Mining District and its many colorful characters, such as “Cactus Jim” Johnson, who carved out a wagon road on nearby “Johnson’s Grade”. It is believed that Cactus Jim is buried on this summit. Wreckage from the mining operation is scattered along the trail up.
Legend has it that this peak was once known to the Cahuilla Indians as Makaveat.
The hike up to Silver starts from a parking area just off Highway 18 that was in remarkably good shape when we did it. I would have driven it in a passenger car. Route finding is a bit tricky in that with wanders through a maze of old mining roads and cross country routes that shorten the route.
It took us two hours to reach the summit travelling a relaxed pace. There is one fairly steep section after leaving the first visible mineshaft that requires caution.
Band conditions were fairly unsettled with only 40m and 20 really working. I did manage a summit-to-summit with W4BTH in Kentucky along with 6 other s2s contacts. All in all it was a great hike with good company.
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