Yaquina Head South is open but call manager Site Manager 541 574-3100 ahead of time during spring nesting season to verify it is okay and be sure to check-in when you show up.
NOTE 1: There is at least one closure (restriction) in force at all times here.
NOTE 2: You can experience two positive wind gradients here which I've estimated to be up to 130% of the wind speed at launch; a vertical one just off launch, and a horizontal one in the neighborhood of the gate across Communications Hill Road-the gravel road up the hill to launch.
Description of Site: Postfrontal situations are usually best for this south-facing, grass and cow parsnip covered hill which overlooks Newport and some of the most beautiful coastline in Oregon. A few small shore pines dot the hill in front of launch just to make side-hill landing challenging. Ridge soaring is possible in S-SW winds from 11 mph and you will find that the wind is somewhat weaker on launch than away from the slope. Relative to the wind at launch, there is a horizontal positive wind gradient in the area over LZ1 next to the road where the gate is. That is, the wind at launch when soaring conditions prevail is 20-30% weaker than the wind strength at launch altitude above this gap. So, even though you have positive ground speed when soaring east of here, you may have negative ground speed when landing here.
Directions to launch: At the north end of town, take Lighthouse Drive west about half a mile to the gravel road on the right. There is $7 entrance fee. You will see a locked gate. Park so as not to block access. Just inside the gate is a sign describing the flying regulations. A few steps beyond the sign, turn left, climb the 8' height and you will be on LZ1. Memorize the wind strength near the south edge; you may choose to land on this small plateau. Now go back to the gravel road and walk up the hill. It's a ten minute walk (somewhat less if it's "on").
Landing Zones: Landing in the area marked "AMBER" is for emergencies only. Land on the beach or north of Lighthouse Drive if possible. You may be ticketed if you fly out of bounds; it's a federal offense and the fine is $1000. Believe it! A pilot was cited.
Check out the route to and from the beach before flying, it can be obscure.
Google Earth view, red dots indicate possible escape route from beach LZ
Site Protocol: You have automatic year-round permission to fly here in accordance with the following:
1) Hang/paragliding activity is permitted only on historically used places. If you don't know where these are, contact a BLM park manager on duty or a local pilot.
2) Hang/paragliding activity is prohibited west of the red-topped monuments on the ridgetop that forms the west wall of the upper quarry (marked with a red boundary and the number 1 on the map).
3) Between March 1 and August 31, Hang/paragliding activity is prohibited south of Lighthouse Drive, except in the area of the upper quarry (marked by the number 2 boundary) where the southern boundary is defined by 4X4 monuments with amber reflectors which are visible from the air: Prohibited area from March 1 to August 31 is marked by the number 5 boundary on the map.
4) Exception to the March 1 - August 31 closure: a once-per-flight crossing of Lighthouse Drive southward towards the beach. You must cross the road east of the Lighthouse Drive and Quarry Cove Road junction (marked by the number 3 boundary on the map). After pilots cross Lighthouse Drive they are committed to flying away from the hill for the remainder of that flight.
Submitted by: Jim Donaldson on 3/15/95
Reviewed July 2014 by Ryan Kern
Site Liaison: Ryan Kern