This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
If you want to go hang gliding in the Pacific Northwest, then you should head to Washington state. These are the best hang gliding locations there.
The Pacific Northwest isn’t typically considered at the top of many lists of the best places to go hang gliding in the country, but it actually offers some of the best views and launch areas that you’ll find anywhere. There are diverse colors, rolling hills, snow-capped mountains, and brilliant coastlines near the water. What more could you ask for?
The best places to go hang gliding in Washington state are the Adventure Hang Gliding School (Bellingham), Inland Air Sports (Spokane), Steptoe Butte (Colfax), Tiger Mountain (Issaquah), Chelan Butte (Chelan), Black Mountain (Bellingham), Rampart Ridge (Snoqualmie Pass), and Dog Mountain (Morton).
If you're looking for the best hang gliding locations in Washington, you've come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss some of the most amazing places to go hang gliding in our great state. Each location offers its own unique set of views and experiences, so it's important to do your research before choosing a spot. Let's take a look at some of the best hang gliding locations in Washington!
One of our goals at Flight Notch is to discuss the best hang gliding spots all over the world. As part of our series to cover every state in the US, we spent time researching Washington to make sure we found all of the possible locations. In addition to that research, we also communicated with other enthusiasts who frequent the state. So when you’re planning your next gliding trip, you’ll know exactly where to go.
Is Washington State Good For Hang Gliding?
As I mentioned above, the Pacific Northwest might not exactly be known for hang gliding, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot. If you’ve ever been to the state for a visit of any kind, then you already know about how beautiful it is. And on top of that, the weather isn’t as bad as you might be thinking!
Let's start with how beautiful the state is. No matter where you go in Washington, you're bound to find some incredible views. And what better way to take in those views than by hang gliding? Whether you're flying over the Cascade Mountains or the Puget Sound, you're sure to be impressed by the natural beauty of this state.
When it comes to the weather, Washington is actually a great place to hang glide. The spring and summer months offer relatively mild temperatures, with an average high of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. And even in the fall and winter, the temperatures aren't too bad - you can expect an average high of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Of course, it's always important to check the weather conditions before you go out hang gliding. But overall, the weather in Washington is pretty good for this activity. So now that we've answered the question of whether Washington state is good for hang gliding, let's take a look at some of the best places to do it.
Best Places to go Hang Gliding in Washington State
So yeah, long story short — Washing state is certainly great for hang gliding. So let’s dig a little deeper and take a look at where you need to go. We’ll look at companies and also launch sites so regardless of if you’re looking for a place to go tandem gliding with instructors or to launch your own hang glider, we’ve got you covered.
Adventure Hang Gliding — Bellingham
First up on our list is one of the best hang gliding companies in Washington: Adventure Hang Gliding. Located in Bellingham, Adventure Hang Gliding offers some of the most breathtaking views in the state. From their launch site on Galbraith Mountain, you can see all of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. If it's not too cloudy, you might even be able to spot Mount Baker!
The weather here is pretty good year-round, although it can be a bit windy in the winter. Spring and summer are the best times to fly, with the average temperature hovering around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Fall is also a great time to fly, although the temperatures start to drop off in October.
If you're looking for other things to do in the area, Bellingham is home to a number of great breweries, restaurants, and parks. So you'll have no trouble finding something to do after your hang gliding adventure! It's also just a short drive from Seattle, so you can easily make a weekend trip out of it.
Inland Air Sports — Spokane
Next on our list is Inland Air Sports, located in Spokane. This is a great place to fly for beginners and experienced pilots alike. The views here are amazing, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to Canada.
The weather is usually pretty good from April through early October, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. However, it can be quite windy in the spring and early summer. During the cooler months of the year, it can get down into the 20s and 30s, so you'll want to dress warmly if you're flying then.
Spokane is located about an hour east of Seattle, so it's a great place to fly if you're looking for something a little closer to home. There are also lots of other things to do in the area, including hiking, biking, and skiing.
Steptoe Butte — Colfax
Now that we've talked about a couple of the best companies in Washington that you can go hang gliding with, let's shift our focus to some of the top launch sites in the state. First up is Steptoe Butte, located in Colfax. This is a great spot for hang gliding because of its incredible views. On a perfect day, you should be able to see all the way to Spokane.
The weather here is pretty good from May through early October, with temperatures averaging in the high 70s and low 80s. However, if you're looking to avoid the crowds, you might want to visit in the shoulder season on either side of summer (April/May and September/October).
Colfax is a small town, but it's located just an hour from Spokane, so if you're looking for things to do before or after your hang gliding session, you won't be short on options. And, of course, if you're looking to make a weekend of it, there are plenty of places to stay in Spokane.
Tiger Mountain — Issaquah
The next place you should consider hang gliding is Tiger Mountain. This Issaquah launch site offers stunning views of the Cascade Mountains, including Mt. Rainier on a clear day. If you are looking for some thermal action, Tiger is also a great place to find it. From high above the ground you'll have an unobstructed view of the valley below.
The average temperatures in the spring and summer are around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. In the fall and winter, the average temperatures drop to 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. In terms of rain and the chance of thunderstorms, the spring-summer months offer the best chance for good weather. To get the best thermals for gliding, it is recommended that you fly early in the morning or later in the evening.
Tiger Mountain is about a 30-45 minute drive from Seattle, so you could catch a Seahawks game if you're an NFL fan. There are also many different things to do in the area if you are looking for something else to do besides hang glide. There are a few different hiking trails in the area that offer beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and forests. When it comes to a place to stay, there are a few different Airbnbs and hotels in the Issaquah area.
Chelan Butte — Chelan
We talked about Steptoe Butte above, but it's not the only butte on this list. Chelan Butte is another great spot for hang gliding in Washington. This launch site offers amazing views of Lake Chelan, and on a clear and sunny day, you can likely catch a pretty good view of Mt. Rainier towering in the distance.
Like much of Washington state, the weather in Chelan can be pretty hit or miss. However, the spring and summer months offer the best conditions for hang gliding. The average high in June is comfortably in the low to mid-80s with very little precipitation. As expected, Fall and winter offer cooler temperatures, but if you don't mind a little chill in the air, you can find some great conditions for hang gliding here as well.
Chelan Butte is located in the town of Chelan, which sits on the shores of beautiful Lake Chelan. The town itself is a great spot for a weekend getaway, offering plenty of restaurants, shops, and things to do. And there are countless other outdoor activities to enjoy in the area, including hiking, biking, and camping.
Black Mountain — Bellingham
It looks like we're just going from butte to mountain to butte to mountain. Well, we are talking about Washington State here, and that's much of what the state has to offer. This is great for hang gliding pilots like you and me since we love nothing more than big, open spaces to explore.
And Black Mountain in Bellingham is one of the best places to do just that. Located just a few miles east of the city, Black Mountain offers some of the most incredible views in all of Washington. If you head to the skies on a sunny day with little cloud cover, you'll be treated to views of the city below, as well as Mount Baker and the Canadian Rockies off in the distance.
But Black Mountain isn't just a great place to fly; it's also a great place to land. The mountain has a large, open meadow at its peak, which makes for a perfect landing spot. Trust me when I say that you’ll never get tired of the views you have from the top of Black Mountain.
Just like many of the other top hang gliding locations in Washington, the best time of year to fly at Black Mountain is in the warmer months from May to October. The average highs during those months hover in the low to mid-70s, with very little precipitation. However, if you're up for a challenge, Black Mountain can also be a great place to fly in the winter months. Just be prepared for some colder temperatures and potentially snowy conditions.
And if you're looking for something to do after your flight, you can head into town and explore all that Bellingham has to offer. From great restaurants and bars, to shops and parks, there's plenty to keep you busy.
Rampart Ridge — Snoqualmie Pass
Next on our list is Rampart Ridge, located in the Snoqualmie Pass area, about an hour and a half east of Seattle. And while it might not be as well-known as some of the other spots on this list, it's definitely worth a visit. Rampart Ridge offers stunning views of both the Cascades, the Olympics, and even glimpses of the famous Mt. Rainier.
The average spring and summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, making it the perfect place to escape the heat. And in the fall and winter, you can still enjoy mild temperatures in the 50s and 60s. To catch the best thermals, try to go early in the morning or late in the evening.
Rampart Ridge is also conveniently located nearby several other popular attractions. For example, it's only about an hour's drive from botanical gardens and waterfalls in the area. So, whether you're a hang gliding enthusiast or just looking for a new place to explore, Rampart Ridge should definitely be on your list. Thanks for reading! We hope you have a great time hang gliding in Washington.
Dog Mountain — Morton
Rounding off our list of the best hang gliding locations in Washington is Dog Mountain, located in Morton. Dog Mountain is a great place for hang gliding all year round, as it offers breathtaking views of Mount Rainier, the Cascade Range, and the valley below no matter what time of year it is.
The average temperatures in spring and summer are perfect for hang gliding, with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the 50s. However, fall and winter offer some of the best views, as the leaves change color and the snow-capped mountains provide a stunning backdrop.
Dog Mountain is located about an hour and a half drive from Seattle, making it a great place to visit for a day trip or weekend getaway. There are also plenty of other activities to do in the area, such as hiking, mountain biking, and camping.
So whether you're a seasoned hang glider looking for a new place to explore or someone who's never tried it before, Dog Mountain is a great option. Be sure to take in the incredible views while you're up there!
There you have it! These are just a few of the many great places to go hang gliding in Washington. So get out there and explore all that this gorgeous state has to offer. The views from the ground are great, sure, but nothing beats the unencumbered views that you'll have while gliding through the skies of the Pacific Northwest.