Tuesday, February 7, 2017

W6/NC-209 Sierra Morena

Sierra Morena is an extremely easy peak to activate. It is located in the El Corte de Madera Creek Preserve, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This area is popular with mountain bikers, and you will probably see some while you're out. From the parking lot at Skeggs Point, it is a short distance up the hill. From the parking lot, cross the road, turn right and walk down the road a few hundred feet. Follow the paved fire road, then continue onto the dirt road. Shortly past the junction on the left there is the remains of an old fire road. 
Turn right where the trail appears to turn white.
Looking back, trail on the right, old fire road going up on left.

Follow this old road up the hill a short distance, pushing through some trees and brush. At the top there is a clearing. Toss your antenna over a tree branch and you'll be on the air. 
Clearing at the summit.

I got my doublet up about 25 feet in an inverted-v configuration over a pine tree branch. This year I made 6 contacts, including one on 222 MHz, my first on that band. The weather was supposed to get rainy in the afternoon, so I didn't linger because I wanted to activate Black Mountain before it got too wet. On my way back I saw three deer, and managed to get a picture before they ran off into the woods.
Oh deer!

Trailhead: Skeggs Point Lot, Skyline Blvd.
Website: Sota Page
Maps: At Trailhead. KB1KXL SOTA Hikes map
Route: Follow paved road to gate. Continue on fire road, past trail intersection. On the right is the remains of an old fire road. Take this back to a clearing at the summit. See pictures.
Red Tape: None.

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