Visiting pilots are welcome.
Information and description about many of the different flying sites in our area is listed below. Most of these sites are accessed via 4x4 vehicle or on foot and are non-regulated sites, located on public lands. However, Bald Mountain (9100' MSL) is a regulated, USHPA insured, paragliding site.
When the lifts are in operation, lift operators will inspect credentials and deny access if a pilot does not have a current membership card.
HERE'S THE LOW DOWN (If you're a visiting pilot):
- To fly Bald Mountain, you must be a member in good standing with USHPA with a P3 rating minimum.
- All pilots must join the local club, (Sun Valley Paragliders) and obtain a current membership card.
- Annual club membership is $75. Temporary memberships are $25 and valid for 7 days.
- When you arrive, please have your USHPA card and any other credentials available.
- Helmets and reserves are mandatory.
- Every pilot's first flight must be accompanied by a local pilot or instructor/guide to get acquainted with the launch sites, and protocols.
- Mini-wings are permitted if the pilot meets the criteria listed above. (Contact the club for any other mini- wing restrictions).
- Check current weather conditions using this link
The primary flying site is Mt. Baldy, (top of the Sun Valley Resort) a high altitude mountain flying site with the summit at 9150ft MSL. The landing zone is approximately 3400 ft. below, at 5700ft MSL. Baldy has launch sites for essentially every wind direction. Competent P3 pilots with some mountain flying experience should feel comfortable in smooth conditions.
This is a site requiring advanced skills as conditions can change quickly. Please fly within limitations, exercise caution and be respectful when conditions become strong.
Bald Mountain offers great XC potential all summer long. The current North American foot-launched distance record of 240 miles was flown in July of 2013 from Bald Mountain, by local pilot Gavin McGlurg. The 2006, 2010 & 2012 US National Paragliding Championships were held on Bald Mountain. (Including a PWC in 2012) During the 2006 Nationals, a total of 5 tasks were flown with a sum total of 460 kilometers/290 miles, the most distance ever flown in a US paragliding competition as the time. On day 2 of the competition, a task of 125 kilometers/78 miles was called and completed. (The longest task in paragliding history at the time.) Baldy is accessed by the gondola and high-speed ski lifts. Most launch sites are a short walk from the top of the lifts. The landing zone, is within a few hundred yards of the bottom of the lifts at the River Run Plaza. (The day lodge located on the east side, at the base of the gondola) Between May and October Baldy is also accessible via 4x4 vehicles operated by Fly Sun Valley.
Please be aware, if you are a pilot new to mountain flying: airspeeds, including launch and landing speeds are greatly increased by the altitude/elevation.
Winter Flying on Baldy
Paragliding/foot passes are available from the Sun Valley Company. In the winter, paragliding is permitted from only 4 different launch sites on the mountain; Easter Bowl, Limelight, Warm Springs and Heaven.
Wind direction for the launch sites is 170°, 350° 320° and 290° respectively
Summer Flying on Baldy
The launch sites commonly utilized in the summer season are College, Christmas Ridge/DD, Easter Bowl, Limelight, HunRun, Heaven and Alabama. Wind direction for these launch sites is 80°, 130°, 170°, 350°, 320°, 290° and 270° respectively.
A local site located on the edge of Sun Valley city limits by the golf course. This is a hike up site used both summer and winter. It is facing south and west. 1500' AGL. Can be good anytime of day for paragliding or mini- wing flights. (Speak with a local pilot about the restrictive landing options).
A magnificent northerly site 3700 AGL. About 10 miles SE of Ketchum. Mindbender is only accessible from midsummer to October via a rugged 4x4 road at the end of Indian Creek Ranches.
Call our office at 208-726-3332 with any questions or send a message below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. We look forward to flying with you!
Fly Sun Valley is a full service establishment providing tandem flights, flight instruction, equipment sales & service. Our office is located in downtown Ketchum, at 160 4th West, across the street from the Ketchum Post Office. (N. 43o 40.763' W. 114o 22.018')