W6/ND-268 (Mesa Benchmark)

Kel, E.Bun, R. and I woke up in the morning on the dry lake bed. Hoping to beat some of the desert heat, we quickly ate a light breakfast and headed over to Mesa Benchmark. Distance is deceiving – We could easily see this one from where we were camped, however it took about 45 minutes to actually get there over the rough desert terrain.

I parked the truck in an area which had been used for shooting, close to the gentlest contours on a topo map and started heading up. There is no trail I could find. After about 20 minutes or so, there is a class 3 section which will take some care to navigate. Once past this section, it’s mostly flat, like a …..mesa!

At the top, we signed the register. I setup my EFHW driven by a Mountain Topper radio. I was getting extremely high SWR on 40, and 30 meters, so I was limited to 20M. Turns out my antenna was broken somewhere. Made one QSO with Buck down at the camp on 2M FM.

We decided to take a different roue on the way down. This involved a sketchy class 3 hike down to the desert floor, with a lot of potential for someone to get hurt. Thankfully, we all made it down without injury. Overall, this was a perfect morning hike! If you use my .gpx track, don’t go down the way we did!


Total distance: 1.19 mi
Max elevation: 4131 ft
Total climbing: 646 ft
Total time: 02:02:58
Download file: W6-ND-268.gpx

Date:07/10/2023 |  Summit:W6/ND-268 (Mesa Benchmark) 

16:46KM6FXK144MHzFMS56 R59
17:01WB7BWZ14MHzCWS55N R55N
17:03K6MW14MHzCWS51N R55N
17:04N7CHN14MHzCWS55N R54N
17:05AK5SD14MHzCWS33N R42N S2S W5O/OU-018
17:07KX0R14MHzCWS44N R44N S2S W0C/FR-174
17:10AI5DD14MHzCWS51N R52N
Morning hike crew
That bump is the final climb to the top
Class 3 up
Heading down – This was sketchy, for me.

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