top of page
  • Writer's pictureDan Koellen AI6XG

Leg Benchmark W7Y/EW-017 Activation - An Alternative Route From the West

Pole Mountain From My Operating Position

Summit Trip Summary

Distance: ~ 2.6 mi one way

Transport: Hiking

Elevation Gain: ~500 feet

Time: ~ 1.25 hours one way

Route: Headquarters trail 791 to Summit Loops trail 796 to Summit Ascent

Access: Summit Trailhead at Happy Jack Road Exit 323 I80 41.2359, -105.42927

Parking: Several spots at Trailhead

Activation Summary

Rig: MTR3b LCD

Bands/Modes: 20 mtr - CW, 30 mtr - CW, 40 mtr - CW

Antenna Support: Trees and bushes for mast support

Cell Service: Very Good (Verizon)

RF Noise: Quiet


A previous description of this summit suggested taking Happy Jack Road from the outskirts of Cheyenne to a trailhead south and east of the summit. An alternative route is to take I80 to exit 323 which is a rest stop and the Lincoln Memorial Monument (not the one in Washington DC). This marks the highest spot on the Lincoln Highway, now designated I80.

Click on this link for GPX file

Getting to the Summit

The hike starts at the Summit Trailhead parking lot which is just past the rest stop on Happy Jack Road. Happy Jack Road is a gravel road that was well maintained to the trailhead. There is a $5 fee which I did not mind paying for a convenient trailhead with a toilet.

From the trailhead take Headquarters (trail 791) for about a third of a mile until it intersects with Summit Loops (trail 796). The intersection is well marked, proceed east on Summit Loops for a couple miles. Summit Loops is a gently ascending trail with shade in some spots and wildflowers in other spots. Follow Summit Loops until you arrive at an intersection of a couple trails at 41.23723, -105.39929 . This is on a saddle with a trail circle and a pile of rocks.

This is where you start your accent to the summit in a southeasterly direction. There is no trail that you can follow, just a zig zagging bushwack through downed trees. I included both my ascent and decent tracks in the GPX file, the correct route is probably a combination. The ascent is not steep. As you approach the summit you will come upon a small boulder field that is easy to traverse towards the summit.

When you get past the boulders you are not on the summit, you have to continue southeasterly. After a small descent you will come across the summit that is just higher than where you first come up from the boulder field. On the summit you will find more than one summit marker including one for Pole Mountain which is an adjacent peak.

On the Summit

The summit is long and narrow with a long AZ. Likely you will be the only one on the summit, not too many people come to this summit since there is no trail. I set up just past the summit in a nice area with small and large trees and bushes to set up your mast and antenna. I found a small tree for my mast and used a dead tree for the other end of the antenna. There are several dead trees that crows like to perch and watch you from.

Getting Back

Simply return the way you came back to the trailhead. There are many other trails if you feel like more hiking before returning to the trailhead.

92 views2 comments


Peter Ebertowski
Peter Ebertowski
Aug 01, 2021

Nice writeup and pictures, Dan! I've hiked to this summit from both the east and west trailheads, but always doing the final bit from more or less directly south. I'll have to try your route the next time I do it. Peter KD0YOB

Dan Koellen AI6XG
Dan Koellen AI6XG
Aug 01, 2021
Replying to

Thank you for the comment, always good to hear from readers of the blog. The south approach looked pretty good as well, especially since I ended up operating just south of the summit. It was a very enjoyable hike and activation. 73 es CUL

bottom of page