Joshua Tree NP and Angeles NF May/June 2018

Some nice hikes and astronomy in Joshua Tree National Park. Peaks planned were Peak 5352 (W6 SD-044), Peak 5540 (i.e Eureka Peak East, W6 SD-039), Ryan Mountain (W6 CD-016), and Inspiration Peak (W6 SD-037)

At about 0130 on 17 May I headed up to Joshua Tree. In Yucca Valley, La Contenta and Covington Flats Roads to the picnic area at the end while still dark


Headed up well to the left to hit the ridge of Peak 5352, then up the ridge to the summit



Date:17/May/2018 Summit:W6/SD-044 (5352) Call Used:N6JZT Points: 4 Bonus: 0   

Time Call Band Mode Notes
14:22z NW7E 14MHz CW
14:24z W4KRN 14MHz CW
14:26z W2ESE 14MHz CW
14:27z N4EX 14MHz CW
14:28z NS7P 14MHz CW
14:30z K3TCU 14MHz CW
14:34z KG3W 14MHz CW
14:42z NU7Y 7MHz CW
14:43z K6HPX 7MHz CW
14:45z K6EL 7MHz CW
14:47z W6STR 7MHz CW



Teddy Bear Cholla, also called Jumping Cholla. Sharp needles!



A pleasant peak, headed down and then drove over to the Eureka Peak parking area. Eureka Peak has a trail and is slightly lower than Peak 5540 (Eureka Peak East). The latter is a 15 or 20 minute cross country walk.



Date:17/May/2018 Summit:W6/SD-039 (5540) Call Used:N6JZT Points: 6 Bonus: 0   

Time Call Band Mode Notes
17:26z K3TCU 14MHz CW
17:31z WB5USB 14MHz CW
17:32z K4QS 14MHz CW
17:35z KX0R 14MHz CW s2s
17:47z KH2TJ 7MHz CW
17:50z NA6O 7MHz CW
17:52z K6EL 7MHz CW

Headed back down to the valley


Looking back at the fork: left to Peak 5352, right to Eureka Peak and Peak 5540



In the town of Joshua Tree I bought a sandwich at Subway, then to the park main entrance and into the park

Drove to various campgrounds – Ryan, Jumbo Rocks, and Belle. Was surprised to find that the big campgrounds in the park such as Jumbo Rocks are reservation only now, Belle and Ryan are first come first served. Decided to camp at Ryan, looked best for astronomy and Ryan Mountain is close by. The campgrounds were filling up fast!

Ryan Mountain


Went for a few short walks, slept in the car. Up at 0330 for astronomy, observing star clusters M13 M8 M103 NGC663 M7 M6, M25. M7 was large and visible to the naked eye.  M7 is also known as the Ptolemy cluster since that astronomer noted it 2000 years ago

M7, photo from Wikipedia



Then over to the Ryan Mountain trail head for another early morning hike. The trail is well maintained, with frequent steps to control erosion



A very scenic hike, and very popular!


Date:18/May/2018 Summit:W6/CD-016 (Ryan Mountain) Call Used:N6JZT Points: 4 Bonus: 0   

Time Call Band Mode Notes
14:27z AB4PP 14MHz CW
14:28z K5QR 14MHz CW
14:29z NW7E 14MHz CW
14:30z KH2TJ 14MHz CW
14:31z K4MF 14MHz CW
14:32z KG3W 14MHz CW
14:34z KA5GEX 14MHz CW
14:35z NS7P 14MHz CW
14:36z K4MF 14MHz CW
14:36z K4QS 14MHz CW
14:37z N4EX 14MHz CW
14:38z WD9F 14MHz CW
14:39z KA5PVB 14MHz CW
14:40z VE2JCW 14MHz CW
14:43z K0GPA 14MHz CW


Then drove over to Keys View for the start of the use trail up Inspiration, and up for the SOTA operation

Date:18/May/2018 Summit:W6/SD-037 (Inspiration Benchmark) Call Used:N6JZT Points: 6 Bonus: 0 

Time Call Band Mode Notes
17:44z KX0R 14MHz CW s2s
17:45z K6MW 14MHz CW
17:46z NW7E 14MHz CW
17:47z N0TA 14MHz CW s2s
17:48z NS7P 14MHz CW
17:51z K0RS 14MHz CW
17:53z WB7ULD 14MHz CW
17:54z N4EX 14MHz CW
17:55z ND4K 14MHz CW
18:07z WA6JJM/M 7MHz CW


After lunch took the 4 Wheel drive Geology Tour Road

Lela Benchmark, W6 SD-072, activated one time only,  by Dan WO6M, now NA6MG. A thousand foot climb



The way back to the main road, beyond the horizon. This road is quite popular, cars were coming by about every half hour this Saturday afternoon



Then back to camp, more astronomy later at 0330. Spent 45 minutes trying to find the M51 Whirlpool Galaxy but I think it was just too faint for me to find. Observed M7 M6 M25 and the nice M11 “Wild Duck Cluster”. Image from Wikipedia. It is one of the smaller clusters in angular size, almost looks like a nebula the stars are so close together



Then an easy early Sunday morning drive home. After the sunshine of the desert the thick cloud cover over Los Angeles was depressing. We often have the May Gray or June Gloom weather conditions!

A couple weeks later, arranged a hike to Mt Williamson (W6 CT-247) with my friends Gary and Rob. 2m FM only since I did not want to bore them with an hour of Morse Code! I spent the night at Buckhorn Day Use Area, slept in the car for astronomy at 0330. Observed  M25, M11, and the M31 Andromeda Galaxy and one of its satellite galaxies M32. I had last observed M31 almost 50 years ago so it was good to see it again. A feeling of looking deep in to time since it is over 2 million light years away. In my small telescope I can only see the oval central core, not like all the famous photos

Met up with Gary and Rob at Islip Saddle at 0700

Above the clouds thank goodness!



Mountain Men Gary and Rob



Clouds coming up over Islip Saddle



Rob listening to QSOs


Date:25/May/2018 Summit:W6/CT-247 (Mount Williamson) Call Used:N6JZT Points: 8 Bonus: 0 

Time Call Band Mode Notes
16:20z KB6WWI 144MHz FM
16:22z NA6MG 144MHz FM
16:23z KM6CEM 144MHz FM
16:24z KX6A 144MHz FM
16:25z KB9ENS 144MHz FM
16:26z AF6YS 144MHz FM
16:27z W1EJ 144MHz FM S2s
16:28z AA0BV 144MHz FM S2s
16:29z W6UKE 144MHz FM
16:30z WB6POJ 144MHz FM

Rob and Gary at the top



Me and Rob

me and rob


Last year Dan NA6MG and I rode our bikes to Mt Gleason W6 CT-017 this time of year. The Lupines were blooming then, so I wanted to return to take more photos of them




Operated 2m FM, and 20 40 30 CW

Date:07/Jun/2018 Summit:W6/CT-017 (Mount Gleason) Call Used:N6JZT Points: 6 Bonus: 0   

Time Call Band Mode Notes
16:02z KK6HRS 144MHz FM
16:03z KD6CQS 144MHz FM
16:03z NG6R 14MHz CW
16:04z NW7E 14MHz CW
16:05z KB7HH 14MHz CW
16:06z K0RS 14MHz CW
16:07z N5NA 14MHz CW
16:08z WB5USB 14MHz CW
16:09z W0MNA 14MHz CW
16:10z W0ERI 14MHz CW
16:11z KG3W 14MHz CW
16:12z NS7P 14MHz CW
16:14z KR7RK 14MHz CW
16:15z KX6A 144MHz FM
16:16z K1LB 14MHz CW
16:17z AA7DK 14MHz CW
16:19z N8BB 14MHz CW
16:21z WA7JTM 14MHz CW S2s
16:31z KX0R 7MHz CW S2s
16:37z WB6POJ 144MHz FM
16:37z K6HPX 7MHz CW
16:39z W0RW 7MHz CW
16:44z AA0BV 10MHz CW
16:45z W7RV 10MHz CW
16:47z N5NA 10MHz CW
16:51z K6MW 10MHz CW
16:52z K6EL 10MHz CW





Heading down. This was my fifth activation of Gleason and each year nature claims more and more of the road



A nice ride back down to Mill Creek Summit. There, four guys were stranded because their car (a Mini) had run out of gas! I took one of them (Victor) down to Acton where the cell phones worked. I dropped him off at the Acton Market so he could call his friend Mo to bring a gas can or call the Auto Club. After I dropped him off, I drove back to Mill Creek summit and gave some water to the other three. They were all members of the religious sect Moors America, which I had never heard of, but looked it up when I got home. You learn something new every day! It is quite interesting.

73! Hal N6JZT



One Comment Add yours

  1. Hi Hal! Great Blog! my wife and iIgo hiking every weekend specially in the San Gabriels- I also just got my Technician ham license and getting started in the hobby..I have lots to learn- 73!

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