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Going hang gliding in the Pacific Northwest is an experience like no other. We compiled the best hang gliding locations in Oregon so your next trip is simple.
If you’re planning your next hang gliding trip, the Pacific Northwest might not be at the top of your list right off the bat. After all, it’s always rainy, gloomy, and chilly there, right? Actually, no! This part of the country has a terrible rep for bad weather, but the states up in this corner of the country honestly have pretty ideal weather for outdoor activities like hang gliding.
The best launch sites in Oregon include the Oregon Hang Gliding School (Corvallis), Southern Oregon Airsports (Grants Pass), Cape Kiwanda (Pacific City), Bald Butte (Hood River), Peterson Butte (Lebanon), Chehalem Ridge (Newberg), Pine Mountain (Bend), and Cape Lookout (Andersons Point).
Looking for the best hang gliding locations in Oregon? You've come to the right place! In this article, you will read about the most amazing places to go hang gliding in the Beaver State. Each location offers beautiful views and a unique experience. So, whether you're looking for a new adventure or want to explore some of Oregon's most scenic areas, read on for the best hang gliding spots in the Beaver State!
Flight Notch was created with the goal of creating the single most comprehensive hang gliding site on the internet. Incidental to that is giving our readers the best places around the world for gliding. To do this, we’re combining all of our own personal favorite locations with popular launch sites recommended by other enthusiasts out there.
Is Oregon A Good State For Hang Gliding?
Before we get into the good stuff and take a look at some of the best places in Oregon to go hang gliding, let's answer the question of whether Oregon is a good place for gliding in general.
Absolutely! Oregon is an excellent place to go hang gliding for many reasons.
First, the state has a diverse landscape which means there are many different types of terrain to explore while hang gliding. Second, the weather in Oregon is generally very good for flying. The state has a moderate climate with relatively low humidity levels, which is ideal for hanging glide.
Lastly, Oregon is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the US. From the coast to the mountains, there are endless opportunities to take in the stunning views while flying. So let’s get into what you’re really here for.
Best Hang Gliding Companies and Launch Sites In Oregon
So yes, Oregon is a great state for gliding, so now let's take a look at some of the best places in the state to do just that. We'll start with a couple of hang gliding companies and then explore launch sites from all around Oregon so you can find the perfect spot for your next adventure.
Oregon Hang Gliding School — Corvallis
Let's start with perhaps one of the most obvious choices for anyone that’s looked into gliding in this area: the Oregon Hang Gliding School. The school is located in Corvallis, which is a city in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The school offers year-round instruction for students of all levels, from beginner to advanced.
The Oregon Hang Gliding School is a great choice for those looking to learn how to hang glide or for those who want to improve their skills. The school offers a variety of courses, from beginner to advanced, so you can find the perfect fit for your skill level. In addition, the location is ideal for flying.
The Willamette Valley is home to some of the best flying conditions in Oregon, with moderate weather and low humidity levels. The best time of year to fly is typically from April to October. However, the school does offer year-round instruction so you can take advantage of the good flying conditions no matter when you visit.
If you're looking for a hang gliding school in Oregon, then this should be at the top of your list.
Southern Oregon Airsports — Grants Pass
Up next on our list is one of the other top hang gliding companies in the Beaver State, and that's Southern Oregon Airsports. The company is based in Grants Pass, which is a city in southwestern Oregon. Southern Oregon Airsports offers a variety of services, including tandem flights, instruction, and equipment rental. They also have a retail shop on site so you can purchase all the gear you need for your next hang gliding adventure.
The location of Grants Pass is great for hang gliding because it offers views of the Rogue River, which is a popular destination for rafters and kayakers. The area also has a lot of open space, which is perfect for takeoffs and landings. This is ideal for anyone, but especially relatively new pilots, since landing is typically the hardest part about hang gliding.
The weather in Grants Pass is usually close to ideal, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s during the spring and summer. The chance of thunderstorms is relatively low during this time as well. However, the area does see a fair amount of rain during the fall and winter, so if you're planning a trip, look at the weather in advance so you’re prepared. It can also get pretty cold in the winter, with temperatures sometimes dipping below freezing.
If you're looking for an adventure and want to try something new, hang gliding is a great option. And if you're in Oregon, Southern Oregon Airsports is one of the best places to go. They have everything you need to get started and their location can't be beaten. So what are you waiting for? Check them out today!
Cape Kiwanda — Pacific City
Now that we've taken a look at a couple of hang gliding companies and schools, let's take it a step further and check out the best hang gliding launch sites in Oregon. The first spot on our list is Cape Kiwanda, located in Pacific City. Cape Kiwanda is an ideal spot for hang gliding because of its stunning views. From up in the air, you'll be able to see the Three Capes Scenic Route, Haystack Rock, and the beautiful Oregon coastline.
The average weather in Pacific City is usually warm enough but never too hot, which means you can fly year-round. However, spring and summer are the best times to go because the skies are usually clear and there's less wind. During this time of year, you can expect temperatures in the mid-60s to low 70s.
Cape Kiwanda is located about 80 miles south of Portland, making it a great day trip if you're already in the area. If you're looking for other things to do in Pacific City when you're finished gliding for the day, you can explore the Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, take a walk on the beach, or go for a hike in one of the nearby forests.
Bald Butte — Hood River
Next up on the list is one of my personal favorite spots in the state, Bald Butte. In case you didn't know a butte is an isolated hill with steep sides and a flat top. Bald Butte got its name because of the beautiful 360-degree views from the top. If there are no clouds, you can see all of the area-famous mountains off in the distance. This makes it an amazing spot for hang gliding because not only do you have the views, but you also have the wind.
The wind is key for a successful hang gliding experience. Bald Butte is located in the Columbia River Gorge which is known for its strong winds. The Gorge is a wind tunnel that funnels the winds from the Pacific Ocean through the mountains and into the valley. This makes for some of the best hang gliding conditions in the state.
The best time to go is in the spring and summer when the temperatures are the most comfortable and the winds are on their best behavior. However, even in the fall and winter, there are still plenty of days with good conditions. It can get a bit cold during these months, with average highs in the 40s and 50s, but as long as you dress appropriately, you'll be fine.
Aside from hang gliding, you can do lots of other things to do in the area. Hood River is a mecca for outdoor activities like kiteboarding, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. There are also numerous hiking and mountain biking trails in the area.
Peterson Butte — Lebanon
From one butte to the next, let's take a look at the popular Peterson Butte next. Peterson Butte in Lebanon is a great place to set up shop and go hang gliding. You’ll be surrounded by the Willamette National Forest, and you can even take your glide down to the city of Lebanon itself for a unique perspective. The views from up here are amazing, and you can even see all the way to Mount Hood when the weather is nice.
The weather in Lebanon, Oregon can be pretty unpredictable, but spring and summer are usually pretty good for hang gliding. You might get a few more days in the fall and winter as well, but the winds can be a little stronger then. Average temperatures during the warmer months hover in the low 80s, so it's not too hot or too cold. Just perfect for a day of hang gliding.
Lebanon is about an hour's drive from Portland, making it a great place to visit if you want to get out of the city for a day or two. But in the immediate area, there are lots of other things to do. Spend a day hiking through Silver Falls State Park, or take a drive out to the Oregon Coast for some beach time.
Chehalem Ridge — Newberg
Next up on our list of the best places to go hang gliding in Oregon is Chehalem Ridge. This is another great spot in the Willamette Valley that offers some of the most amazing views. You'll be able to see the entire valley below as you glide through the air. You might even be able to see Mount Hood in the distance.
The weather is also great for hang gliding here. The average temperature in April through October is around 70-75 degrees, which is perfect for flying. In the fall and winter, the temperatures cool down a bit but are still mild. If you go during the winter, just be sure to bundle up properly and you should be fine!
Chehalem Ridge is located just outside of Newberg, which is about an hour's drive from Portland. There are also a few other cities nearby that you can visit if you're looking for things to do. Overall, this is a great spot for hang gliding and there's something nearby for everyone to enjoy.
Pine Mountain — Bend
Located in the area around Bend, Pine Mountain is one of the best places to go hang gliding in Oregon. The views are amazing and you can see all of the Cascade Mountains from up here. If it’s not cloudy, you can even see Mount Bachelor in the distance, which is a unique site like no other. This is why we love to go hang gliding!
The weather is also great for flying here. The average temperature in the spring and summer is in the mid-70s. The winds are usually light, which makes for perfect flying conditions. In the fall and winter, the temperatures cool down a bit, but it's still mild compared to other parts of Oregon. And the views of the snowy mountains are simply breathtaking.
Pine Mountain is also a great place to come if you want to do other activities as well. There are hiking and biking trails nearby, as well as several lakes where you can go swimming or fishing. And if you want to head into town, Bend is only a short drive away.
Cape Lookout — Andersons Point
Cape Lookout is another great hang gliding spot in Oregon. It's located about an hour and a half south of Portland, near the town of Tillamook. The views here are amazing, especially of the Oregon Coast. You can see for miles while hang gliding here. Anderson's Viewpoint is a great place to launch from, as you'll be able to see the Cape Lookout Lighthouse from up in the air and for miles no matter where you look.
Although you can go hang gliding here year-round, the best time to visit is in the spring and summer. The weather is usually pretty good then, although it can be a bit windy. Fall and winter are also great times to visit, but the weather can be far colder and less predictable. During the warmer months, temperatures usually range from the mid-60s to the low 80s. In the winter, it can dip down into the 30s and 40s.
There are plenty of other things to do in the area as well. If you're into hiking, there are several great trails nearby. The Cape Lookout State Park is also worth checking out. It's a beautiful place and there's plenty to see and do there. You can also go whale watching, fishing, and crabbing in the area. There's really something for everyone.
And that's it for our list. So, if you're looking for a great place to go hang gliding in Oregon, be sure to check out one of these spots. You won't be disappointed. From starting your training at the Oregon Hang Gliding School, to flying high over the Oregon Coast, you're sure to have a great time. Thanks for reading and happy flying!