Here in southern Oregon we are blessed with a number of outstanding hang gliding sites, and the local hang gliding
club, SOAR, is constantly working to add more to the list. Below are listed only a few of the current sites.
Near the town of Merlin, Walker has two main launches - one facing south and one facing northwest. North winds in
the summer make for great cross-country potential toward Jacksonville, Ashland, and the California border, and south
prefrontal winds make for great wintertime soaring. While the Josephine Co. Airport has always been an acceptable
landing zone and the two schoolyards below are acceptable on a limited basis, there is only one official lz for Walker
Mtn., and SOAR membership and presence of the current safety officer are required to land here.
Towering above the beautiful Williams Valley, this site was opened to free
flight in July of 2011. Although a southwest launch was pioneered
beforehand, the north launch (which faces the prevailing winds) was built
and is maintained with the permission of the landowner by SOAR. One of
the landing zones is a winery and cattle ranch, and the other is owned by a
local hang glider pilot. This is another great departure point for potential
XC flights upwind to Grants Pass or downwind toward the Oregon-California
border. This is a sensitive site that requires the presence of the SOAR
SSO to access the main launch.
Known as 'The Hang Gliding Capitol of the West', Lakeview boasts a number of world-class flying sites, including
Black Cap, Sugar Hill, Hadley Butte and Doherty Slide. Lakeview has by far the greatest cross-country potential
(often in excess of 100 miles), and the locals are thrilled to have us fly there! The flying season is relatively short,
but the trip is well worth the wait. All sites here are unregulated (USHPA membership recommended), and the spirit
of free flight is alive and well in Lakeview. This is really the place to fly!
By far the most publicized site in the area, and therefore the most over-used and sensitive, Woodrat is heavily policed
by a local paragliding club. The launch is on public land and the main landing zone is a winery within a moderate
glide by hang glider & requires only USHPA membership to access. The bailout LZ is open to all paid SOAR
members who have signed a waiver and provided a contribution form to the local pg club. The consistency of soaring
conditions attributes to this site's popularity and heavy traffic.
Located just north of the town of Port Orford, Cape Blanco is a coastal site
that works well in prefrontal conditions, particularly in the winter. While this
site was first flown in the early days of hang gliding, today few partake in its
natural beauty. The mile-and-a-half long bluff provides spectacular views of
the ocean, and there is plenty of beach on which to land during low tide. This
site experiences hurricane-force winds at times, so it is best flown by more
WELCOME TO SOUTHERN
OREGON AIR RIDERS!
Rekindling the Spirit of Hang Gliding in Southern Oregon!
Yet to be pioneered, Spanky has been investigated by SOAR members as a
potential flying site with BLM and landowners in the Applegate Valley.
Access is by 2wd, and XC potential is trememdous!
Another potential new flying site near the Cascades, this site shows tremendous potential for XC flights as well.
Pioneered many years ago under a different name, Magic shows great promise as a H2 flying site. The 2,000-ft AGL
launch is on public land and the lz is a private field open to SOAR members.