This summit starts at the Ancient Bristle Cone Pine visitor center parking lot. Take the trail to the Mexican Mines, which winds past some old cabins and mine shafts. Continue on the trail until a second set of collapsed mine audits. From here, just head straight up the hill a short distance to the summit. There, you will see another collapsed mine audit; this is where I setup my station. Worked 20, 40, 2, and 1.2GHz. Did a bit of rock hounding, then headed back to the car. This is pretty high elevation, and I was feeling the effects having just come from Los Angeles. No .gpx data for this summit, as I thought I would use a phone app instead of a hardware GPS. Phone app crashed. Doh!
Sunset Peak is rad. I started at Glendora Ridge Road across from Sunset Ridge Fire Road, and followed that up to the summit. At the top is a big chunk of sheet metal, I think from a lookout tower. I thought about ways to use this as a ground plane next time I’m there. Worked 20, 40, 2, and 1.2GHz. I got snowed on, in May, which was a nice surprise. The way down I was having so much fun, I went wayyyy past the turn off back to the car, but I eventually ran into GDR and cycled back on the road.
Edit December 5th, 2022. I was right about the big metal sheets on Sunset being from a old fire lookout tower. The info below was borrowed from firetower.org without any kind of permission.
Sunset Peak replaced the former site on what is now known as Lookout Mountain, across the saddle to the north. Photographs appear to show it as an L-4 or BC-301 cab atop a 20 ft. steel tower. There was a small residence to the north and a cistern to the south. (The corrugated metal remains over what is believed to be the cistern.). Besides that all that remains are the footings for the tower and the foundation for the house.
Ron Kemnow’s site recounts stories of a 1928 lightning storm that destroyed the cabin, construction of the motorway in 1938 (eliminating the need of a pack train to bring supplies,) and a December 1938 fire which threatened the tower. Nonetheless, lookout Sherman Foster remained at his post. Both he and the tower survived.
The cab and tower were reportedly disassembled and transported to the Ontario Air Tanker Base in 1974 or 75. The final disposition of the structure is unknown.
I thought there was a road of some kind all the way to the top of this summit because of the fire lookout tower, but I was wrong! Because of this, I thought it would be a good bike ride. Park near Frenchman’s Flat Campground at the gate. You need a forest Adventure Pass displayed to park. Continue almost all the way down the paved road. You will see a small gate on the right, blocking a fire road – this goes to the summit. This road gets narrower and narrower the further you go up, ultimately ending up as a single track. At the top is a lookout tower which was built in 1969. This summit also offers nice views of Pyramid Lake. I setup my vertical and worked 20m, 40m, and 2m bands. About half way down the trail, I got a flat tire – but left my patch kit in my other bike bag – doh! Ended up walking most of the way back to the car. Overall, it was a fun day. Can’t wait to come back again!