Arizona fires in June, 2021

Listening to the news on Monday, June 21, I heard the saddened announcements about the raging wildfires all around in the State of Arizona and the unfortunate information that most of the National Forests will be closed to the public starting Wednesday, June 23, 8:00 A.M. local time.
So, I decided to try to make a three-activation day on Tuesday, what I never did before, previous to closures. Since I got COVID-19 twice, last December and February, I was out of the “business” of SOTA activation for half a year. After my illness and lock-downs, I am anxious to be an active activator again. Thus, I entered the three alerts on SotaWatch web site and went to sleep for a couple of hours.
Tuesday, I woke up early in the morning at 4 o’clock and hit the road with my wife and my dog who are with me most of the time. The plan was to activate three drive-ups: Elden Mountain W7A/AE-017, Summit Mountain W7A/CS-026, and Grandview Benchmark W7A/CN-013 if I am lucky enough finishing them in one day.
After activating Elden Mtn. on 20m-cw-ssb drove to Summit Mtn. I mean just close to it because 2 miles and 400 feet away from the top we were stopped by road closure. We could do nothing but just turn around and get to the Grand Canyon. Traffic was good until we got close to the entrance of the Canyon. There were so many cars, RVs, motorcycles at the gate that it took more than one hour to pass through. But anyway, we got next to the lookout tower and the activation was easy on 20m-cw-ssb. Having some time to play, I tried 6m-cw-ssb and 2m-fm without success.
Finishing the activation, we stopped at the South Rim for picture taking and after that started heading back to our home in Phoenix.
At the end, I collected 20 activation points, traveled 530 miles, and drove 10 hours. What a day.
Now, let me share some pictures with you .
73 Attila W7AMR

Summit Mountain lookout tower:

Road blocks at 2 miles from tower:

Disappointed activators:

Back in business at Grandview Benchmark:

Working on my favorite 20m vertical antenna:

XYL with the dog at Grandview Point of South Rim of Grand Canyon:

Puli, the guarding dog:


A long day with a lot of driving! Love your dog…it must be really interesting to see what all he/she brings in with all that fur!


Dave, AE9Q


It’s a dog! I thought he just took the mop with him on walks. :slight_smile:

Bummer about the fires.


Hi Attila,

Thanks for those photos esp the one at the south rim. I visited that area in December 2005 on a bus tour. We had stayed overnight at Scottsdale on 25th Dec 2005 and went up to the Grand Canyon the next day. Good memories!

Edit: I meant to include my sympathies with Arizona experiencing those fires. We have had bad fires here too in the past few years so we can relate to the problems and losses suffered there.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


Hi Andrew,

Beside SOTA activation, my most favorite place in the entire U.S. is the Grand Canyon. Since I moved to Arizona I am visiting it more frequently.

Yes, the fires are bad here, and we don’t see official solutions for these problems.

I was watching the news about fires in your country. That was bad, too.

73 Attila W7AMR

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Dear Attila,
Very sorry to read about your 2xCovid-19, but happy and relieved to see you back activating again.
I’m very worried with all these fires and extremely high temperatures you are having in the West of NorthAmerica and I can only say that my thoughts are with you.
Take care and good luck!



Dear Guru,
Thank you very much your note. I really appreciate it from you. Last week, finally, I got my X-ray absolute clear, so Covid-19 is now over for me.
We have serious problem with wild fires because mismanagement of the forest. But that’s politics.
I’m looking for a good SOTA summer and I hope I can catch you again from one of the summits.
73 Attila W7AMR