SoCal SOTA Camp-Out Apr 5-7th 2019

Mark your calendars for this Spring’s SoCal SOTA camp out. We’ll converge on the hills above Big Bear (weather permitting) for a weekend of SOTA fun during the day, and tall tales of radio adventures around camp at night.

We’ll be dispersed camping in the National Forest, and there are no amenities, so come prepared to be self-supporting. The road is usually in decent condition, but sometimes a bit of ground clearance is required. I’ll provide a condition update before the event.

There are plenty of fun peaks to activate in the area - here’s a map: SoCal SOTA - CalTopo

Hope some of you can join in on the fun!



The date is fast approaching, and I’ll admit, I’m a bit concerned about t road conditions up in Big Bear with all the rain and snow we’ve had this year. I will attempt to go scout the area the weekend before, and if it’s not suitable for average vehicles, I may opt to redirect the event to the desert South of Barstow. Sawtooth Canyon Campground (Google Maps) would provide a good alternative base-camp for the nearby desert peaks. It also happens to be a rock climbing area if anyone else is into that kind of stuff.

Just wanted to give a heads-up on the latest. Will put out more final location details about 5 days before.

Let me know if you have any questions.


ATTENDEES: Please RSVP via Private Message or email to with the following info:

Email Address (for final event comms):
Vehicle Type (car / AWD / high clearance / 4WD):
Expected arrival day/time:
Any other notes or comments…

I plan to arrive Friday evening, hopefully leaving San Diego by around 2pm, but work obligations may dictate otherwise and have me arriving late Friday night. I plan to head home Sunday afternoon.

We are a week and a half away, and feedback from N0OI suggests that it will be dry enough and warm enough up in Big Bear for snow and excessive mud to not be a serious concern. If anyone has the opportunity in the next week to go scout Polique Canyon, Van Dusen Rd, and Holcomb Valley Rd, it would be great to confirm.

All of that said, the long-range forecast (unreliable) shows the potential for a weak storm that weekend. If that materializes, we’ll redirect to the desert option at Sawtooth Campground.

CAMP: If the Big Bear plan works out, we’ll shoot for Holcomb Valley Campground if there’s space available. That will give us picnic tables and restrooms. If there’s no space, there is dispersed camping nearby. There is NO WATER there, so come prepared. Fires are allowed in fire rings in the campground, but not at the dispersed camp sites.

WEATHER: Spring in the SoCal mountains at 7,400 feet will likely be cold at night (around freezing or below) and comfortable during the day. The desert will be warmer, but it’s still around 4,000 feet elevation, so come prepared for cold nights.

SOTA: I have no specific agenda, but this map (SoCal SOTA - CalTopo) shows a bunch of area options. If you have any questions on these summits let me know. I plan to activate Saturday and Sunday.

LOCAL COMMS: I will monitor the Keller Peak repeater, and 146.550 simplex on the trip up and upon arrival to the area.

Any questions?

So, please send me your info to RSVP and finalize planning for this event. It should be a blast.


Adam, wish I had found this post sooner, but we have plans out of state that weekend. Thanks for taking the initiative to set this trip up! 73 AK6Q Scott

I might be taking my boy to learn skiing for the first time on 4/7, so there’s a chance we could drop by the day before and overnight it. Won’t know until it gets closer though.

AK6Q - Scott, bummer! We will definitely do it again…

K6TW - Tim, hope you get a chance to join us!

With snow showers in the forecast, we will be REDIRECTING TO THE DESERT.

Here’s a map: Google Maps

Looks like there will be 4 of us at this point. Anyone else interested in going, please RSVP for planning purposes.



The camp-out sounds like a good idea but I will not be able to make it this year.

Scott WA9STI
Los Angeles

No worries, Scott, we’ll do it again.

For anyone else thinking about joining, here’s a planning map: