W6/NC-496 Burra Burra

Hard way

I parked at Bell Station Farmers Market (14962-16080 Pacheco Pass Hwy, Hollister, CA 95023) and Bike/ Hiked 7 1/2 miles (15mi total) to the Dowdy Ranch visitors center and then onto a short trail not far from there that takes you right to the peak. It took me about 2 hours to hike/bike up and about 2,000 ft elevation from start to the top, the first 2miles are very steep and pretty brutal, it dose even out eventually but not by much. No dogs allowed. Bikes, hikers and esquarians only. This trail is open year round even if Bell station gate is closed, the public is allowed to go around the gate. After I had made my contacts it was maybe a 30min ride back down the mountain. Most of it is down hill with 2 maybe 3 sections of slight uphill biking, even then I was able to use the momentum of downhill to speed myself along.

Easy way

During the summer the visitor center is staffed by volunteers and the gate at Bell station is open. this means you can drive up to the top and the peak is less then a mile from there. The road is an unpaved gravel road. Bring a spare tire and go slow. Still 2 wheel drive should be fine.


I used my IC-706, with a Bioenno battery and Packtenna mini cut to 29′. on 20 watts i was able to work 5 stations on 20m from North Carolina to Vermont. I got lucky on a Monday where a ARRL contest was still going on. I would have loved to stay longer but it took so long to get to the top I needed to make my 4 contacts then head home as quickly as possible.

Cell reception: I had full LTE sprint service most of the time and was able to spot myself.

Call sign used: KK6ZLY/AG

Fee: $8 entrance fee that you put in an envelope and place into the brown bin in parking lot. How they know weather you paid or not i have no clue.

Video of my hike:     https://youtu.be/JTg1PxebYMM

How the peak got its name: http://coepark.net/pineridgeassociation/plants-animals-geology/geology/copper-mining

2 thoughts on “W6/NC-496 Burra Burra

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