The Rockpile is a high, isolated mount that was an important lookout point by the Americans during the war.
It's a quick stop along the road to the Khe Sanh Marine base -- not much to see, looks like any other mountain, though there are still signs of the intense defoliation wrought on by Operation Ranch Hand, the US defoliation campaign. Also, the North Vietnamese barraged it continually throughout the war -- along with neighbouring ridges, like Camp Fuller, it was a choice spot for heavy guns and snipers. The only practical way to get up to the top was by helicopter -- it may not look like there was any place to land up there, and that is indeed the case: there was only enough room for a landing pad big enough for one wheel of the helicopter to touch down and hover while personnel were quickly transported on and off -- a pretty precarious operation. The Rockpile is located along Route 9 at around km 27, heading from Dong Ha toward Khe Sanh. There's no sign, so you'll need a guide to point it out. It's an obligatory stop on tours headed to Khe Sanh.
Last updated on 30th January, 2008.