A very pleasant spring hike through flower fields.
18 MARCH 2023 W6/CT-167
|Hike Distance:||2.5 miles round trip|
|Steepness:||Steep in places|
|Cell Coverage:||Excellent (Verizon), APRS Excellent|
I hadn’t been out for a SOTA activation in weeks due to the heavy rain and snow in Southern California, so I was raring to go do a new one. There are four unnamed summits in the Crown Valley area and I really enjoy the solitude of this corner of the Santa Clara watershed. I’ve yet to see another person on these surprisingly enjoyable summits.
I got to the bottom of National Guard Road off Aliso Canyon road just before sunrise on this Saturday morning. Gentle breezes beneath clear skies foretold a nice hike. This Escondito Pass corridor can be mercilessly windy, but all was calm as I started out.
As others have noted there is a rather permanent “Road Closed” gate off Aliso Canyon at National Guard Road. The motor “sports” have made an obvious drive around but I chose to honour the “No Motor Vehicles” sign posted and left Whitedog in a large parking area.
I took a different route than the others have noted on the external links page of the SOTA database. Rather than head up the ridge immediately to the right of the fireroad and over several false summits, I followed National Guard Road up to where motorcycle tracks head up a ravine off to the right. Once up in the saddle, look for a (not obvious) track that goes around to the left of a steep hill immediately to the north at 34° 26.9613′ N, 118° 9.9294′ W.
The hike up was laced with the beginnings of the California Poppy bloom and with all the moisture we’ve seen this should be a spectacular hike in a few weeks, All-in-all, I think this is a seldom visited but really nice SOTA summit. As others have noted the actual summit lies just over the boundary of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. It’s possible to stay on the south side of the summit off of the private property and still be in the activation zone. I didn’t worry about it given no “No Tresspassing” or “Private Property” signs and set up on the actual summit.
The activation was a lot of fun. I had 23 contacts. Christian F4WBN was a strong 58 on the KX2 and he gave me a 57 from France. I also worked first time SOTA chaser John McCarthy KE6SPO in Yorba Linda. Thank you all chasers for a fun day on the radio.
The wind was borderline for flying Chester the Drone but I did anyway with one mishap:
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