Welcome back folks, reporting on Briones Peak aka W6/NC-371 SOTA activation.
I hiked the loop from the western park entrance via Mott and Briones peaks.
Briones regional park is a decent sized park near Lafayette, CA. At the time of discovery by Europeans the area was inhabited by Sacklan Miwok but by the 1810s combination of ecosystem-disrupting ranching and smallpox decimated the community. The land was used for cattle grazing ever since.
The views are great - the upleg of the loop does not feature many trees above the starting ravine. This is why I recommend to do the loop clockwise especially in summer - the down leg has some shade much needed in the afternoon.
From the Mott Peak (1424 ft / 434 m) you can see Benicia-Martinez bridge connecting the banks of Carquinez Strait, cities of Martinez, Pleasant Hill and Concord. Right behind the prominent Tesoro refinery is located Port Chicago (in)famous because of the deadly July 17, 1944 munitions explosion.
Once you pass the highest point of the trail, lovely Mt. Diablo vistas open.
Turn to the Seaborg trail is kind of easy to miss, I recommend using some decent map / GPS on your phone.
Watch out for mountain bikers and snakes on the trail. Also makes sense to learn how to make cows move out of the way. Don’t get yourself caught between a cow and a calf.
Getting there is fairly straightforward. Just drive to the Bear Creak Staging area. There are three decently sized parking lots. Parking is $3 but sometimes fees are not collected, check the entrance booth.
Briones Peak aka W6/NC-371 activation
Briones Peak is a very popular SOTA activation point (56 activations as of November 2022) - cities below are a home to a substantial ham population making VHF activations very easy.
Summit is well shaded. The fence makes for an excellent mast base and the bench allows deploying like a king.
Do make sure you keep your setup tidy - a lot of people are hiking with dogs, you don’t want to get them caught in your cabling.
Stations worked from Briones Peak
|Time UTC||Call sign||RST sent||RST received||Frequency||Mode||Maidenhead grid|
This is all I have at the moment, take care. 73 K0SSK out.