Category Archives: Trip Ideas

Carbonado, Washington (idea)

Grid CN86-87-96-97
Lat 47.00000, Long -122.00000, Alt 1,600′
Dist from home: 62.9 mi/88 min drive, 40.3 mi S

I wonder if there are enough roads in this area near Mt Rainier to support grid square circling? One report shows hams camped on Poch Peak south of Carbonado for the June 2004 VHF contest.

A report from WE7X suggests: “Yes it can be done, but not this time of year.

Highway 165, headed south out of Carbonado, is in CN87.  About 6 to 7 miles south, you cross into CN86, and you are mostly in a river canyon for about 3 miles, before crossing into CN96.

Somewhere just before that, as I recall, the road turns to dirt.  There is a lot of Motorcycle and jeep activity in the area, because the Evans Creek ORV park is just up the road a few miles.

There are several ways to get into CN97 from places along the route from Buckley to Carbonado.  One is by heading due east from Wilkerson.  It is only about three miles to the grid line.  Another route, which I have never tried, is from an intersection well south of Carbonado, off Hwy 165 while still in CN87, at a fork to the left.  There should be a sign referring to “Fairfax” there. Keeping to the right and up the hill keeps you on HWY. 165.

Going to the left, and keeping to the left at the next fork, heads up a road I’ve never traveled very far, but DeLorme says it goes into CN97 for a short distance-and then pretty much ends.  The right fork follows the Fairfax Forest Reserve Road and heads to Ipsut Creek area.  I’ve traveled that road east and then found my way south through the forest trails to the Evans creek ORV area.  You will need more ground clearance than a normal automobile, and it would be foolish to try it without four-wheel drive.  My Subaru Brat made it through with no difficulty.

With some effort, it is not hard to operate in those four grids, but propagation from some places may be rather difficult, and access is definitely seasonal.

The N7CFO Rover page lists an operating location in that area, in CN96, which is high up above the Evans Creek ORV park.  It is a very good operating site, and up quite high.  The road up there is quite passable, but quite rough, rocky, and slow going. The famous ‘Enterprise’ bus has made it up there, and Lynn N7CFO as taken his trailer up there also.   It has been used many times for portable operations, but is not an easy spot to try to get in and out of, for a rover operation.  (It is not easy to pound guy stakes into the solid rock ground either) – Rod”

Squak Mtn State Park (planned)

Grid square CN87xm40
Lat 47.503982, Long -122.04742, Alt 2,000′
Dist from home: 12.1 mi/28 min drive, 5.5 miles due S

Squak Mountain is the middle of the chain of Cougar – Squak – Tiger mountains marching east from Bellevue. These are wonderfully tall peaks visible for many miles around.

This might be primitive forested national park area. Although google maps shows roads, I suspect it is accessible only by 4-wheel drive vehicles. Local reports say it’s usually gated 100 yards in, and a really nice hike to the top in summer.

Mirrormont Country Club, Issaquah (planned)

Grid square CN97xn54
Lat 47.464036, Long -121.999674, Alt 800′
Dist from home: 10.9 mi/26 min drive, 1.5 mi SE

On the south side of Tiger Mt is a nice hill with good exposure. The country club parking area by the tennis courts are the extreme edge of CN97. The grid square’s dividing line runs between the two courts.

Grand Ridge North, Issaquah (canceled)

Grid square CN97an41qt
Lat 47.549189, Long -121.960902, Alt 1,400′
Dist from home: 13.3 mi/31 min drive, 4.5 miles SE

Grand Ridge North, and its sister Grand Ridge South, are the steep hills on the north side of I-90 halfway between Issaquah and Preston, WA. The map shows a one-lane road to the top and a few houses among the dense forest. At 1400 feet (426 meters) it should have a better view in most directions than the Sammamish Plateau. Also there are fewer hams in CN97.

Unfortunately, a scouting trip found the mountain peak is heavily carpeted with “no trespassing” and “keep out” signs. I will respect their wishes.