Cleghorn Mountain (W6/CT-112) is located just the the east of Interstate 15 and Highway 138 within the Cajon Pass of Southern California. The summit itself rests along the Ridgeline that traverses east to west and is classified as a chaparral environment. For the 4WD enthusiast this would be a great place to play for a day trip from the Inland Empire and High Desert areas. The views are excellent, there is nearby camping along Silverwood Lake and in the valley below, and there are nearby services if desired. The below is my five-point trail report for accessing the summit for a ham radio SOTA (Summits On The Air) activation:
1- Parking & Road Conditions – I accessed the mountain from the eastern forest road 2N47 which is classified as a moderately difficult 4WD trail. The first part is fairly tame and the hard parts are mostly concentrated on the numerous off shoots that have obstacles most stock 4WD or 2WD vehicles won’t be able to conquer. There are plenty of wide spots along the road should you need to park and walk the remaining distance to the peak. YMMV
2- Trail Conditions – The “trail” is really a road in this case but note that there is NO shade or water along the route. The road had many high and low points but mostly is a gentle climb toward the top of the Ridgeline where the summit will be found.
3- VHF v HF needs – I was able to work the summit on VHF only utilizing my roll up slim Jim type j-pole antenna. If there were more active hams in the high desert I think the activation would have been much easier on VHF only. For HF you will need some form of a push up pole for a wire antenna or other option as there are no trees on the peak.
4- APRS & Cell Coverage – The cell coverage and APRS proved to be excellent! My cell spots went through almost instantly and my location was pinging on APRS perfectly.
5- I’d suggest ensuring. you have ample water and sunblock for this trail if you choose to walk most of it like I did. Additionally, I know this area can get really warm in the summer so I suggest a late fall through early spring activation season, unless you like dying of heat strokes and rattlesnakes. All that being said, it was a pleasant and peaceful activation on a Friday morning.