If you plan to activate via HF, follow K2JB’s advice and set up on the grassy area that you see on your right, just as you near the summit and begin to see the observation platform. There is a concrete park bench on the grass. I have used the bench as an operating position. I stretch my SOTABEAMS linked dipole across the grassy area and attach the center and ends to the trees at the edge of the grass, opposite the observation platform and toward the parking lot. This only puts the antenna at about 8-9 feet above ground, but it works fine. The elevation above average terrain is still good, as is the take-off angle.
For VHF activations you will need a HT with a very good superheterodyne receiver, not a SDR type HT (i.e. Baofeng, Yaesu FT-65R, FT-25R, FT4XR, etc.). The Yaesu radios can sometimes receive, but you must walk around in the grassy area to find a “sweet spot”, where the intermod doesn’t overload the front-end of your receiver. If you go up on the observation platform with a SDR type HT, the best chance you have to be able to receive is by standing next to the elevator door. There is just so much RF up there that SDR receivers, and even some superheterodybe receivers, cannot hear. My friend’s VX8R was receiving the weather broadcast instead of 146.520 MHz.
The best HT my team has found for areas of high RF is the Yaesu FT-270R first, followed by the Yaesu FT-60R. I haven’t yet tried my FT-3DR on Brasstown Bald, but it is a SDR receiver, so I have doubts. In narrow FM mode, it is a superhet, so that might work. Enabling the attenuator might also help. I plan to test the FT-3DR on Brasstown Bald in January of 2021, to see how it performs. Between now and January, I plan to test it on Stone Mountain, which has a 50,000 watt broadcast transmitter that wreaks havoc on radio receivers. Thus far, only my FT-270R and FT-60R can hear on Stone Mountain.
If you haven’t done many VHF activations, I offer one final hint. Don’t assume that you must hold your HT in such a way that the antenna stays perfectly vertical. You might find that a 45 degree angle works best to receive one station, while orienting the HT to where the antenna is completely horizontal works best for another station you are trying to receive. And sometimes vertical orientation does work best. Also, try taking a step or two in different directions to see where you receive the other station the best. It’s just the way VHF acts, so we must be flexible.
73, Doug N4HNH