I parked in the Oak Springs Picnic area. It is nicely shaded, plenty of picnic benches and surprisingly, clean restrooms. Be sure and display a forest adventure pass. The gate to the picnic area was unlocked when I arrived at 0700 hrs.
Exit the parking lot and turn right on to Gold Springs Road. Walk about 100 feet, crossing over a dry stream bed to the Oak Springs Trail. Take the well marked Oak Springs Trail to the Forest Road.
Like many trails on the west side of the Angeles National Forest, the trail quickly rises through a series of switchbacks. This section of the trail is in good condition. The picnic area is below.
Camp Karl Holton is visible from the switchbacks. This is a juvenile hall style camp.
Here is the first view of Yerba Buena Ridge. It is the rise in the middle of the photo.
The trail eventually tops a hill, showing the first view of the Pacoima area down below. Unfortunately, it was slightly hazy today.
The trail drops into a valley with a nice approach to Oak Springs Trail Camp. I was hoping to see some deer grazing this morning, but no luck. I did see a nice covey of quail.
Oak Springs Trail Camp was really nice. It would be great for a group of scouts on a training backpack. Not much water in the adjacent stream, but it was moving enough to provide water if one had a filter.
The camp provides plenty of shade and a fire pit.
Arriving at Yerba Buena Road after 2.3 miles of hiking. Turn left on the dirt road and follow it to Yerba Buena Ridge.
View of Angeles National Golf Course from Yerba Buena Road.
View of Verdugo Mountains, containing W6/CT-034.
Yerba Buena is the taller peak in the center of the photo. The road is easy to follow and only a couple short, steep elevation gains. Roxy still has a lot of energy.
I left the road and went for a short, easy cross country trek to the peak. The peak is marked by this pile of rocks. The coordinates for W6/CT-163 are below the peak.
The "Station Fire" rolled through here back in 2009, burning everything in it's path. The area is made of grasses and short shrubs. After a little hunting around, I found this lone, dead yucca tree. It was perfect for my "Jacklite". There were what looked like a couple small trees about 100 yards away that would have been suitable for the Jacklite and within the 80' vertical elevation of the activation point, but I knew the yucca would work well.
This is my 20m End Fed antenna attached to the Jacklite. I have it sloping from North to South. A lot of good, clear contacts today.
Roxy, my SOTA hiking partner, is taking a well deserved break. She slept during most of the activation's. I had to pull a few ticks off of her when we got down the hill. If you take this hike, be sure and check for ticks when the hike is complete. With the low grasses and shrubs, there are a lot of ticks.
The mountain in the picture is Mt. Lukens, W6/CT-030.
Off in the distance is San Gabriel Peak W6/CT-019 and Occidental Peak W6/CT-098 as well as Mt. Wilson.
Roxy taking one last break on the way out near Oak Springs Trail Camp. There is a nearly 2100' elevation gain from the picnic area to the peak. Most of the gain is on the trail to Yerba Buena Road. I would caution against doing this trek in the summer when it is extremely hot in this area as there is no relief from the sun. The weather was perfect today. Clear with temperatures in the upper 50's and low 60's.
I activated on 2m, 20m, 40m and 12m. Thank you to all chasers and the spots today. I had the following contacts:
2m - N6JZT, WA9STI
20m - K6TUY, NA6MG, NS7P, W0MNA, AB7YL, N6JZT, KF7JQV, W7CNL, WA2USA, KF5PMU, VE7KBN, AA7DK, K7NEW, KF7JDP, N6AKI
40m - WA9STI, N6JZT, KB6CIO, WA6RIC, W7RV, W7USA, K6EL, WN6E, WA6ARA, K6TUY, K6CMG, AA7DK, KB7HH
12m - N4EX, N6AKI, N6JZT, N7UN, W4MPS, KB1RJD, KB1RJC, KK1W, EA2LU, AJ5C, VA2VL, DJ5AV, KF5AIE
Summit to Summit with VA2VL on VE2/ML-002.
As I am still relatively new to HF and SOTA, thank you for your help and patience. Thanks again to all chasers and those that spotted.