Polk County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: November 11, 2006
Author: Ken Russell

Laurel Mountain is an FAA radar site with a bad reputation due to lack of access. Especially since 9-11, the government has been sensitive about security around critical sites like this. Peter and Mary Green had to call their Congressman to get permission to visit the site. Possibly their persistance paved the way for my much easier experience.

I started my search for FAA permission to visit this site, by calling the numbers Dean Molen provided in his trip report. I was referred back to the regional office and told to talk to Toni Watkins-Cline (503-258-6981, Toni.Cline@faa.gov). She was very helpful, and was able to get permission for me within a couple of weeks.

I recommend that you send an E-mail request to Toni with a description of the vehicle you intend to use, the date you would like to visit, and contact information.

I came in when the gates were open for hunters, but if you want to go at a different time of the year, try Weyerhauser Land Use Manager, Scott Marlega, 541-451-8206. I didn't need to talk to Mr. Marlega so I can't say how receptive Weyerhauser is to access outside of hunting season.

The FAA requests that no pictures be taken at the site. The site is frequently visited by FAA personnel and is monitored by CCTV. I carried a copy of my E-mail permission with me in case anyone asked. I would not recommend stealthing this one.

The day I was there (November 11, 2006), the mountain had an inch or two of snow. I was able to find the benchmark which is just east and north of the gate for the summit enclosure fence.