From Interstate 84 take the exit after Exit 82 at the Dalles, turn left at the exit stop. Drive two blocks to Cherry Heights Rd. Turn right and drive exactly 3.6 miles to Sandlin Rd. Turn right and drive exactly 1.4 miles (stay on the middle track when the road turns to gravel), to a gate that is a cable with a sign saying no vehicular access. Park there and walk about .7 mile to launch, starting on the access road then going straight ahead when the road forks left and right. This is an easy flat walk.
Launch is the tapered slope almost directly above the water tanks below. A little grooming needs to be done. The LZ is the big field as seen from launch with a church at the east end of the field. A small building resides on the north edge of the field; we have permission to install a windsock on this building. An optional LZ is the school field one block north. The church LZ has less hazards. Eagle Caves is a ridge soaring site and works best with a northeast to east wind. Northeast winds are not the best conditions for Cliffside but are ideal for Eagle Caves. Top landing should be easy if you go back some distance from launch, the field is huge. Sled rides could last all of two to three minutes.
Stan Harryman June 2002
ADDED INFORMATION BASED ON RECENT MEETINGS
High School LZ: Landing at the High School is a very sensitive issue. Pilots have previously been questioned by police and threatened with citations for trespassing for landing there. While we do have permission to land there, the permission is tenuous, at best. DO NOT LAND AT THE HIGH SCHOOL WHILE SCHOOL IS IN SESSION OR WHILE A TRACK MEET, FOOTBALL GAME, OR OTHER EVENT IS TAKING PLACE, INCLUDING DURING THE SUMMER OR ON WEEKENDS. For insurance reasons, USPHA membership is required to land at either school. Please also note that no smoking or alcohol is allowed on school property.
Please contact the high school, via phone call or in person, before flying in order to verify permission to land there if necessary. The phone number is 541-506-3400.
If, for some reason, you cannot reach Kyle, please use the Middle School LZ. If you absolutely have to land at the high school without first getting Kyle's permission, please use common sense about landing near events or other people. Although our relationship with him is very good right now, this could easily change.
For me, the biggest reminder to come out of recent events at Eagle Caves, is the need for constant vigilance with respect to site preservation issues. With very few exceptions, our ability to fly our sites depends on the understanding and generosity of others. We all need to focus on maintaining good relations with land owners and doing what we can to make sure that other pilots understand the risks created by flying wherever and however we want without considering how land owners and others might react—I know I should have been more cognizant of that issue when flying this site for the first time.
The State and County are calling this area Chenoweth Table (what we call Eagle Caves). As of this date there are still no concrete plans to develop the area into a park. For now it's just public access with no facilities. It's a good flying site for days when the wind is NE to E, with a good LZ just below at the athletic fields.
This map shows the three main ways to access the launch: 1) via hike up from the water towers, 2) via drive & hike out via Sandlin Rd., and 3) via hike up from the Middle School.
The drive & hike out via Sandlin Rd. has some issues with parking at the gate, so if you decide to take this route, please park your car away from the gate. Follow the road past the gate and bear left when it splits at the 'Y' and follow that until it turns right, which will take you right to launch.
The water tower hike takes about 20 minutes. The hike up from the Middle School has not been timed yet, but it looks like an easier climb to the rim.
The ridge faces NE, and the map is facing SW, towards the hill. Google's north symbol is in the top right. Thanks to Google for this map.
Submitted by Sarge, Jan. 10, 2010
Updated July 2014 by Jay Zollinger
Photos by Travis Forsman of launch and LZ: