Monday, February 13, 2017

W6/NC-399 Coyote Peak

There were still a number of hours of daylight left when I finished hiking W6/NC-367, so I decided to activate Coyote Peak. Initially I followed the directions given on the SOTA site to the top of Country View Drive. However, there is a large gate and a sign that says the area is closed for habitat restoration. Combined with the fact I saw a park ranger on my way up, I decided not to climb the fence. Instead, I parked at the Pueblo Day Use Area on the other side of the peak. From here it is a 600 foot climb over one mile to the summit, an easy hike. From the parking lot, take the Hidden Springs Trail to the summit.
The trail at the far end of the fence.
This trail is a fire road, and appears to be popular with mountain bikers. The first section follows a seasonal stream, which was flowing fast when I was there. The summit is visible from the lot, and for a good portion of the hike.
A tall tower at the summit.
At the top there is a tall tower, and a few benches. Setup at one of the benches that looks north over the Bay Area and enjoy the views while you operate. When I was there, there was a steady stream of other people, some of whom must not get out a lot. Some were amazed at the views, which were nice.
South San Jose
I made 17 QSOs, all but one on HF. I initially CQed on 20m, but I didn't get any answers. It was evening, so I thought I might get some help from gray line propagation. 40 and 30 came through, about the same number of contacts on each. KX0R had a hard time hearing me on 40, trying multiple times, but didn't get the point until I went up to 30m. He is one of my most contacted chasers, so it was nice to get though eventually.
Late Afternoon.

The same hills at sunset. So many nice colors.
The park closes at sunset, so I gave myself 30 minutes to get back to the car, and I made it with a few minutes to spare. I was surprised to see people still heading up that late in the day. Overall, this was a very nice peak, and I would recommend climbing it on a clear day if you are able to.

Trailhead: Pueblo Day Use Area. There are a number of small parking lots along the road. I parked at the one where the road makes a U-turn, across the street from the Hidden Springs Trail.
Website: SOTA Site
Maps: SOTA Hikes map
Route: Hidden Springs Trail is the shortest, other trails also go to the summit. Also possible to start at the base of the mountain.
Red Tape: Don't cut switchbacks. Don't ignore signs saying the area is closed.
Other: Bring a pair of binoculars for the summit.

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