Monday, July 17, 2017

W6/NC-496 Burra Burra Peak

Burra Burra Peak was the second SOTA summit I activated this day, after the unnamed Point 1679. I had been cooling off in the visitors center, talking to the ranger. She said there was an old copper mine near the summit, and the entrance was still visible. She also told me how the peak got its name.
Back during the Civil War, the South controlled most of the copper mines, so the price for copper in the Union went way up. This meant that a lot of prospectors headed out to try and find more copper. After some prospectors found copper on the peak, the called the mine the New Burra Burra Mine, after the Burra Burra copper mine in Tennessee. After the war ended and copper prices went down, the mine was abandoned, but the name lives on.
Burra Burra Peak.
From the Dowdy Ranch visitors center, take the trail next to the center up to Kaiser Aetna Road. Cross the road and continue up the trail to the summit. This is a fairly short hike, about one mile. The summit is covered with shrubs, but there are some open areas to set up in. I lashed my pole to a shrub, and sat on a convenient rock. There was good cell service on the peak. I spotted myself and made a number of contacts on 30 and 20 meters. I had no luck on 40, and didn't even get any RBN spots. I managed to make one contact on 146 and 446 each. The CQ VHF contest was going on, but I didn't realize until afterwards that the rules forbid making contacts on 146.52.
View to the west.
On the way down I continued around and made a loop. I stopped by the old copper mine, which was easy to find. It had started to get cloudy, and some rain would have been nice, but none came.
Old copper mine entrance.
The entrance had collapsed, and is fenced off.
The mine entrance is under the tree.
There was a second entrance to the mine, but I did not find it. I got back to the parking lot at 4, just as the ranger was leaving. Since I was the only one there, she waited for me to leave so that she could lock the gates behind me, rather than having to come back this evening at the published closing time. The drive back down Kaiser Aetna Road was uneventful, and I made it back to CA 152 for the drive home.

Trailhead: Dowdy Ranch, Henry Coe SP.
Website: SOTA Site.
Maps: AA6XA SOTA Hikes map.
Route: Seven Oaks Trail to the Burra Burra Trail.
Red Tape: None. Dowdy Ranch is only open weekends during the dry season. Check the Henry Coe Website or call to make sure entrance is open.
One hot hiker.

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