Some people think of Oregon as a rainy state located on the West Coast. What they do not know is Oregon is home to some of the highest mountains, densest forests, and breathtaking shorelines located in the U.S.! All of those environmental factors make Oregon a paragliding haven. Since there are hundreds of options of where to paraglide in Oregon, we have narrowed it down to the top ten places to paraglide!
Places in Oregon to Paraglide:
For a less extreme Oregon paragliding experience, check out Black Cap Mountain! This mountain is only 5,371 feet, and in paragliding terms, that is not extremely high (paragliders can legally fly up to 18,000 feet!). While descending, you will be able to see the local town and nearby mountains.
Black Cap Mountain can be accessed by a dirt trail that leads to the launching spot.
Another less extreme Oregon paragliding experience can be found at Doherty Slide. Located in southeastern Oregon, Doherty Slide is rim that was created by a volcano. Surrounded by acres of shrubs, this is the perfect location for paragliding! With a 6,175 foot launch, and an area perfect for glass-offs, this is the perfect location to practice your paragliding while soaking in the crisp Oregon air!
Located near Fremont National Forest, Hadley Butte sits at 6,000 feet. Hadley Butte is popular for paragliders because of the flat launch and the gorgeous scenery. While descending the northern section, you will be overlooking Summer Lake and Summer Lake Hot Springs, two of Oregon’s most popular nature sights.
Hagelstein, located near Upper Klamath Lake is a popular spot for Oregon paragliders. In order to get to the flying spot, travel the paved road that is located north of Hagelstein Park. When you land, you should land in a huge field next to Hagelstein Park. Aside from Hagelstein’s technicalities, Hagelstein is a popular location due to the gorgeous lake and mountain scenery you will view as you paraglide.
Some of the risks you should be aware of are; landing in an uncut field and an increased wind speed, due to the close proximity to the lake.
Sitting at 9,065 feet in central Oregon is Mt. Bachelor. Most people know Mt. Bachelor as a popular skiing location, but Mt. Bachelor is also great for paragliding! When paragliding Mt. Bachelor, you will launch from the summit. Unlike other ski resorts that allow paragliding, Mt. Bachelor forbids you to land in the parking lot. Thus, you must land towards the base foundation of the Skyliner chairlift—aka the designated landing area.
It should also be noted that in order to paraglide at Mt. Bachelor, you have to be accompanied by a paraglider guide from the Desert Air Riders paragliding club. Thus, Mt. Bachelor is the perfect Oregon paragliding location for beginners.
A benefit for paragliding at Mt. Bachelor is that there is a chairlift to the summit, and paragliders can purchase a pass that is good for multiple days and rides. Thus, feel free to descend as much as you would like during your time in Oregon!
Located near Oregon State University, Peterson Butte is perfect for someone looking for an authentic Oregon paragliding experience! Sitting at 1,439 feet, this mountain is perfect for paragliders who are not ready to descend from large heights. Since the mountain is not too tall, it is easy to hike to the summit. Once at the summit, launch into the air!
While Peterson Butte seems like the perfect beginner area, there are some weather hazards that you should be aware of. Some of the unsuitable weather conditions are; increased wind speed and an abundance of clouds and fog. Weather conditions can truly become unsuitable during the springtime. Before descending Peterson Butte, ensure that you can detect changing weather conditions, and when to make the call to launch or not.
Note: in order to descend Peterson Butte you have to have a U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) membership.
Located in central Oregon, Pine Mt. is one of the only mountains in central Oregon (central Oregon is mostly comprised of the flat desert landscape). Standing at 6,509 feet, Pine Mt. is one of the taller paragliding areas on this list. Surrounded by tons of trees, paragliding Pine Mt. will be an authentic woodsy experience. After paragliding Pine Mt., be sure to check out the Pine Observatory!
Located in central Oregon, Pine Ridge is a one-mile long ridge compiled with various launching options. Thus, Pine Ridge will give you a truly unique Oregon paragliding experience. Easily accessible, every launch located in Pine Ridge can be located by walking. If you want a shorter flight, check out the north and northwest areas.
Before launching, make sure to check the weather. Since every launch is located below ridge top, winds tend to be strong.
It should be noted that part of the year the National Grasslands forbid driving off primary roads. So, make plans to walk.
One of the most popular and raved about Oregon paragliding spots is Woodrat Mountain. Sitting at 3,780 feet Woodrat Mountain is located in southwestern Oregon. Launch off the large and wide opened gravel area. Expect to land near a cow pasture.
After landing, be sure to follow the following rules; no dogs, no smoking, no vehicles inside the gated area, no littering, and no alcohol.
It should also be noted that the Main LZ launch can be especially dangerous mid-season, due to the air which causes difficulty landing.
Our final Oregon paragliding area is located on the western shoreline of Oregon. Yaquina Head is home to a rocky launch area. Plan to land in a grassy area that is located in close proximity to the visitor center. If you do not want to land near the visitor center, you can stretch your flight to the east and land on the beach. Overall, Yaquina Head is the perfect place for coastal soaring in Oregon!
It should be advised that coastal winds can change abruptly. Ensure that you can detect changing weather conditions, and can make the right call of what to do. Also, you cannot fly near the lighthouse because seabirds nest in that area.