Monday, April 17, 2017

W6/NC-182 Wilson Peak

Wilson Peak is an easy to reach peak in the southern part of Henry Coe State Park. On my two trips there I have taken two different routes, both of which I'll describe here. The first time I activated was over my Thanksgiving break in 2016. I started from the Hunting Hollow entrance, and took the Jim Donnelly Trail to the ridge, where I followed Steer Ridge Road to the top. Jim Donnelly is a fairly new trail, and is well constructed with many switchbacks. This makes the hike up and down much easier, and I would recommend it over a shorter route.
My antenna is up there somewhere.
There are a few knobs that all look about the same height, but they are all in the activation zone, so pick one to operate from. At the true summit there is a USGS marker. I made 10 contacts this first trip. It was also colder than I had expected with a strong wind, so I tried to huddle behind the tree my antenna was in.
The second time, in 2017, I came over from Wasno Ridge. The Wilson Peak Trail was less steep than I feared it would be, but still was a healthy climb. It was also April, so the wildflowers were in full bloom.
Wilson Peak Summit.
It was much warmer this time around, and I made 17 contacts, HF only. There was a cell signal, so I had no problem self-spotting. Everyone in the pileup on 30 meters seems to have zero beat-ed me, and I had trouble picking out the first few calls. I have much more respect for the DX stations that have much bigger pileups to sort through. Since I was parked at the end of Gilroy Hot Springs Road, I took the Spike Jones Trail back to my car.
I think that is Mt Robison in the center.

View on the hike down. Copernicus Peak (center), Mt Isabel (in front of Copernicus), Mt Sizer (ridge on right), and Coe Ranch (on the left ridge) are all visible.

Trailhead: Hunting Hollow Parking Lot. This lot is very large. $6 parking fee.
Website: SOTA Site
Maps: Purchase from the visitor center or the Pine Ridge Association. I've not found a good free map online. KB1KXL SOTA Hikes map
Route: Many choices. I took Jim Donnelly Trail and Steer Ridge Trail. Coming up or down via Wilson Camp is also nice (e.g. the Bowl Trail).
Red Tape: None for hikers. Trails closed to biking after rain.

Interesting colors.

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