Between the vast amount of sand dunes, mountains, canyons, and forests, it is no surprise that Utah is one of the top locations in the U.S. for outdoor sports. Most people know that Utah is the perfect place for hiking, rafting, and skiing, but they may not know that Utah is also the ideal place for paragliding. Since Utah is home to a vast amount of high altitude places, which are perfect for paragliding, we have decided to narrow it down to the top 8 places to paraglide in Utah.
Located near the Powerhouse Mountain is the Utah paragliding location dubbed Camels. To get to Camels follow a dirt road, where you will either need four wheel drive or some great hiking skills. Once at the starting spot, you can expect to descend just over 950 meters. Expect to land on a huge open field, which is privately owned by a pilot friendly resident. Camels are the perfect Utah paragliding location for newer mountain flyers. Not to mention that Camels has a huge history of paragliding since some of the first paragliding cross country flights occurred there. So, if you are a newbie, or someone looking to experience paragliding history, check out Camels!
Located in the southwest corner of Utah is the Cedar City Training Hill. Located on the top of the ridge, this Utah paragliding location is the perfect place to fly when the wind is blowing in virtually any direction. Expect to land on either the road located at the base or on the side of the golf course. Since the landing zone (LZ) is huge, the ridge is not too high, and the location of the ridge is perfect and easy to fly in during various weather conditions, this site is perfect for beginners. While the location of this Utah paragliding spot enables you to fly in virtually any weather, it should be noted that during strong winds you can start to get blown back. In that environment, it is best to head to the valley in the west. Whatever you choose to do during strong winds, do not go too far east.
This location is one of the most popular Utah paragliding sites! Cove Mountain is home to a small ridge that stands at 3,300 feet and extends miles out. On the ridge, there are three different areas, which face different directions, where you can launch from. From one direction you can soar above lakes and streams and view a panorama of Color Country. From another direction, thermals carry you to the Wasatch Plateau where you can soar above the infamous Skyline Drive. Expect to land on a small dirt road which is clear of bushes. As of the different take off directions, the launch area to the west is the easiest route, the south take off area is narrow and suitable for intermediate paragliders, and the north take off area is extremely small and difficult, thus suitable for advanced paragliders. Overall, Cove is the perfect Utah paragliding site for every paraglider!
Located near the border of Wyoming, Crawford is another popular site for Utah paragliding. Crawford Mountain is home to two launch areas; one at the reflector towers, and one north of the ridge. Once you take off, you will be able to see a vast amount of open fields, lakes, and nearby mountains. The views are truly breathtaking. Expect to land at the mouth of the canyon or on a field, just watch out for the livestock and alfalfas. Paragliders usually fly from Crawford Mountain early in the morning or later in the afternoon. It should also be noted that top landings in strong cross winds are not advised.
Almost an hour away from Salt Lake City sits a grassy peak overlooking canyons and lakes. Francis Peak is a west facing grassy peak that sits at 9,200 feet. Expect to drive at least 45 minutes until you arrive at the wide and open take off area. It should be noted that you cannot fly above 9,500 feet because of commercial and military air traffic. Once in flight, you will soar above grassy meadows and see a fantastic view of the Great Salt Lake. Lastly, it should also be noted that storm development can happen within the blink of an eye. So even if the weather is slightly unstable, do not fly.
Located in central Utah sits Hancock. Perfect for an afternoon paragliding trip, the ideal take off conditions are when the winds are blowing south west. The launch is classified as a P-3 launch since there are usually sage brush and an uneven terrain. While there are no flight restrictions, it should be noted that winds which blow parallel to the ridge can cause harsh rotors.
Between Cascade Mountain and the town of Orem sits Inspiration Point. Another popular Utah paragliding site, Inspiration Point (nicknamed Inspo) is the most visited site aside from Point of the Mountain. Inspiration Point is one of the most popular paragliding sites for a lots of reasons, a few notably being; you can soar up to 15,500 feet on ideal weather days, and there are very consistent thermal conditions. Once in flight, you will see a gorgeous view of the town of Orem and the many mountains that are in the near distance. It should be noted that of the few landing zones, the landing zone at Grandeur can only be used when school is not in session.
The last paragliding site on this list is the most popular paragliding spot in Utah. Located just under an hour away from Salt Lake City, Point of the Mountain is home to glorious views of mountains, canyons, lakes, and towns. Almost everything about Point of the Mountain is perfect. The landing zone sits at over 3,000 feet and has about a mile wide of space, thus enough room for you and other paragliders to get ready to soar over Utah. The slope is also decent, with at least 270 degrees of launching directions, you can choose to go almost anywhere. Another perk of Point of the Mountain is the NOAA weather site that sits near the launch site, thus you can check the soaring conditions right before descending the mountain. Lastly, the winds tend to be consistent and smooth. Thus, Point of the Mountain will give you a unique and quintessential Utah paragliding experience.