Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Big Utah Trip


Hey everyone, for the next three weeks I will be living out of a rental van and touring the national parks of Utah and northern Arizona. Of course I am going to take this opportunity to activate from a couple new associations and a whole pile of new summits.

I’ll be around 14.062 and 7.032 with my MTR3B, depending on the time of day. Sorry to SSB-only chasers in advance, but I’m packing entirely too much stuff already to carry a different radio. I’ll also have 2m on my HT for any locals, but I don’t expect to spend much time on there. Please be patient with my slow, crappy CW. Activations probably won’t be especially long, but mine usually are not anyway.

Because it’s such a long trip, I don’t really know when I’ll be where. I don’t want to file spots for everything right now because plans will likely change due to weather, side trips, etc. and I don’t want a bunch of busted alerts throwing everyone off. I will try to file alerts the day before or the morning of an activation, assuming I can get any cell phone signal.

In the meantime, I’ve created a little table for what I plan to do and very approximately when I plan to do it. I will also try to keep it up to date for longer range planning. It’s posted here: https://www.lumensoutdoors.org/~chris/utah/sota.markdown

I’m hoping there’ll at least be signal from the summits so I can spot, but I should be set up with APRS2SOTA and the SMS gateway and maybe RBN if I’m lucky. If you hear me, please spot me just in case I wasn’t able to do so myself.

I’m willing to entertain other summits I should activate, as long as they are in or near any of the parks and aren’t too difficult to get to. Finally, I’m hoping to work some FM satellite passes in the evenings but that’s an announcement for a different place.


Looks like a great trip! I am familiar with some of your planned locations; Brian Head and Rainbow Point in particular. You may also wish to view Cedar Breaks which is not far from Brian Head, it’s not SOTA but it is a worthwhile visit that does not take up much time. As to cell coverage, I have been in that area using AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon - Verizon has given the best coverage but there are still dead areas, expect that along parts of HWY 14 and HWY 89. Also, you will probably be in some rare grid squares, if you know which grids you’ll be in that may also attract contacts involved in the ARRL Grid Chase.

Enjoy your travels and wishing you success on your activations!



We’re going to be spending one night camped at Cedar Breaks which I am really looking forward to. It looks like there’s some easy hikes in the area, and the night sky from there should be really impressive. I am on Google Fi for cell phone which I’m usually happy with, but it’s less good for coverage in the mountains. So that could be a bit of a struggle.

I’ve mapped out the grids I’ll be in for purposes of satellites. I’m not sure how rare they are for the grid chase, but there’s not a ton of people there so who knows. Hopefully I don’t get too many callers because it’ll take me a while to get through a pileup on CW, and I’d like to give priority to SOTA chasers.


Some great summits you have listed for your trip! Two suggestions if you have time:

W7U/SU-036 Wilson Peak (you’ll have to pass it near Bryce)–it’s a drive up dirt road.
If you’re doing Delano, you may want to look into City Creek Peak (W7U/BE-002) which is very close to Delano and an easier hike.

Some video of Brian Head/Navajo Pt https://youtu.be/P137JKBTLNM
Hope you enjoy our state!

Mike AC0PR


Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve put them both on my big google map and loaded them up into peakbagger on the phone (well - City Creek Peak anyway, Wilson isn’t on peakbagger). It’s always great to have more options. Who knows what weather or fires or whatever will allow me to do. Drive ups are nice because it’ll be more interesting for my wife, too.

Delano is appealing because of its dual county highpoint status, so I’m really hoping to grab that one. Speaking of county high points, I’d hoped to get up to Fish Lake Hightop and Mount Ellen, but I think those are beyond what I should be doing in a rental van.

Thanks for the video - the whole Brian Head area is looking good. We’re very excited for this trip.


Wow, what an awesome looking trip! It looks like you’ve done a lot of homework!

You don’t have anything scheduled right now on 9/30, but from the right hill in So Utah, you may be able to work many of us, with an HT, that will be on summits in N. Az for the S2S Madness event.

Which place should I monitor for that announcement, amsat-bb ? :smiley: I only need DM27-57,38,48,49, and DM59. Hope to catch you in one or more of those grids and/or summits!

Good luck & 73!
–Chris K7TAB


We’ll be staying at Kodachrome SP the night of the 30th. I don’t see any activatable peaks near there. It looks like most of the alerts are pretty early, though, so maybe I could try to grab them from Rainbow Point in Bryce that morning before we leave. I’d hate to miss all those chaser points.

I don’t really know where to post sat stuff - I’m on one FB group, but it recently split apart into two, or something. I could do amsat-bb if that’s the most useful spot. I was going to look through the rules for their rover award and make some decision. My satellite plan was to basically work FM sats at night when we’re sitting around camp, or perhaps early in the morning before we get going. I’m not going to be pulling over to the side of the road to catch a pass. We’ll be staying the night in DM36, DM37, probably DM38, maybe DN30, DM48, maybe DM49, DM57, and DM58.


Okay, 2m FM might be a bit of a stretch from there! I looked at the elevation profile in Google Earth from the paths between Rainbow Pt and a few our summits (I have a little tool I’m working on that generates the KML - If you would like the KML, just send me an email, @arrl.net works). If I see a 2m spot from you, I’ll give it a try! Most of the ops will operate HF and many will be doing cw.

The official amsat FB group is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AMSATNA/ & ke4al (at) yahoo.com maintains the amsat upcoming satellite operations webpage. You should easily get the rover award after this trip. The social media points really boost your score. Email me if there is anything I can do to help!

Have a great trip!


I see they just closed the road out to Rainbow Point due to fire, so who knows what’ll be going on in two weeks. Hopefully I can get out there. I’ll put it on my calendar so I don’t forget.

I’ll check out those amsat links, thanks. I hope I can help you out with a grid or two.


You can do Fish Lake Hilltop with the rental van. I did it with Toyota Corolla. However, be careful on the descent. I flowed wring cairns and ended at the wrong canyon about 6 miles from my car. Don’t expect too match activity on 2 meter band.