Tuesday, May 16, 2017

W6/CT-132 Granite Benchmark

Granite Benchmark is a peak near Bouquet Reservoir, with some high voltage power lines running across the summit. I hiked it one windy Sunday morning. From the height of land on Bouquet Canyon Road, head up the dirt road to the north. There is a big sign marking the border of Forest Service land by the road.
Reservoir from the trail.
After heading up about 350' and a few switchbacks, turn off the road and follow the ridge to the summit. The FS map shows a road/trail, but there is not one. The brush is sparse enough that it is easy to follow the crest of the ridge up to the top. I was expecting to see something to follow, so I walked past the ridge with the road marked, and took the next one to the top. I took the shorter one on the way down. See the caltopo map at the bottom.
At the top, cross under the power lines to get to the highest point. I set up on the dirt road by one of the pylons, somewhat out of the wind. I had a good cell signal on top, so I was able to spot myself whenever I QSYed. I made six contacts on 20 meters, and three on 17.
Power lines running down the ridge.
I was worried that there would be a lot of power line noise, but either my mag loop didn't pick it up, or the KX3 filtered it out because I had no trouble hearing and working the activators. I'm not sure which piece should get the credit for this.
The benchmark.
The trip back to the car was uneventful. I stopped for a minute to watch some crows playing in the wind blowing over the ridge. It looked like fun for them.

Trailhead from across the road.
Trailhead: Height of land, Bouquet Canyon Road. Labeled "Lincoln Crest" on the FS maps. Big sign marking boundary of FS land.
Website: SOTA Site.
Maps: KB1KXL SOTA Hikes map.
Route: Follow the dirt road on the north side of Bouquet Canyon Road. Leave the road and follow the crest of the ridge up to the summit.
Red Tape: None.

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