By Steve Roti
The paragliding sites in South-Central Oregon are located mostly in Lake County, near the towns of Lakeview, Valley Falls, Paisley, and Summer Lake. This is basin and range country, similar in many respects to Nevada. Most of the flying takes place along the Warner Mountain range, which starts in California and runs north past Lakeview and Valley Falls. Other popular flying sites are Hadley Butte, just west of Paisley, and Winter Ridge, which overlooks Summer Lake.
Both the Oregon paragliding and hang gliding straight distance records were set from the Black Cap launch above the town of Lakeview. The U.S. paragliding national championships were held at Black Cap in 1998 and the hang gliding nationals were held at Sugar Hill (just across the border in California) in previous years.
The prime flying season in South-Central Oregon is from July through September. There's an annual fly-in held in Lakeview on the Fourth of July weekend that attracts foot-launched pilots from all over the western U.S.
The primary launch sites for paraglider pilots are: Black Cap, Sugar Hill, Tague's Butte, Doherty Slide, Hadley Butte, and Winter Ridge (also known as Ponderosa).