Dalles Mountain Ranch
On April 17, 2000, Joe Lawry and Rick Higgins worked with the Park Rangers at Dalles Mountain Ranch to open the site for paragliding. They built a bulletin board and put up a windsock in the LZ. The rangers have brought in a picnic table, and are willing to do other improvements if our club is willing to adopt-a-park. They are also willing to bring in more gravel for the parking areas and to plant trees if we help with the cost. Thanks to Pat Erwin for writing letters to the Washington State Parks to help get this site open.
The directions to Dalles Mountain Ranch are: Take I-84 to The Dalles and go north on SR 197, crossing The Dalles bridge. Go to Hwy 14 in Washington and turn right (east) on Hwy 14. Take the next road on the left (Dalles Mountain Road). Go 4.3 miles to the parking area and the bulletin board. You should be able to see the windsock in the LZ. Hike up about 1200 ft, past the windsock and follow the fence line to the top launch at about 2400 ft. There are flags and streamers there. The east side of the fence is private property.
This site works on a south, southwest, and west wind. There are two nice launches halfway up the mountain. The LZ is grassy and large, and there is a windsock in the middle of the LZ.
For those pilots who have flown the "Bootkick" at The Dalles Mountain in the past, this site is very similar. Pilots have been up to 8,000 ft MSL at the Bootkick in the past. XC flights have been over 37 miles from the Bootkick, so this site should be great! It can be soarable with the right conditions. It is possible to get high if you stay with thermals that track up and back.
Submitted by: Rick Higgins 8/17/2002