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Hang gliding is one of the most freeing and exciting experiences in the world, especially at the right location. These are the best places to go hang gliding.
My first experience with any sort of pseudo hang gliding was the ride Soarin’ at Walt Disney World. This ride takes you on a simulated gliding experience around some of the most amazing locations in the world. That, combined with my now actual gliding experience got me thinking — what are the best places to hang glide?
The best places in the US to go hang gliding include California, the Great Plains, Mount Washington, The Grand Canyon, Florida, Salt Lake City, Kitty Hawk, Hawaii, and Arizona. Outside the US, the Swiss Alps, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and much of Europe are ideal for hang gliding.
There are many beautiful places in the world to go hang gliding and there are some major things to consider when looking for the best locations. The weather is a major factor – you don't want to head to a location where the wind speeds are too high and will make it unsafe for flying. You'll also want to consider what kind of scenery you want to see while you're up in the air. So if you're looking for a breathtaking view and the gliding experience of your life, check out the locations in this article; you'll thank us later!
At Flight Notch, we strive to provide you with nothing but the best content you’ll find on the web. With a subjective topic like this, I don’t want to only give you my opinion on the best locations to go hang gliding, since that’s limited to just my experience. Instead, I spoke with other pilots and enthusiasts to come up with a comprehensive list of what truly are the best places to go hang gliding.
Best Places For Hang Gliding
Finally, it’s time to get into the good stuff. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the best places to go hang gliding in the world, both in the US and internationally. This way, no matter where you’re at or where you're heading, you’ll have some incredible hang gliding destinations to experience.
Best Places To Go Hang Gliding In The United States
Let’s start off by taking a look at the best places to go hang gliding within the United States. Don’t get me wrong, international hang gliding is absolutely incredible, and there are definitely some places outside of the country that you don’t want to miss out on. But if you’re like me (and most people), international trips are much more rare than staying within the borders.
Plus with all of that said, the United States has some absolutely amazing places for hang gliding. Places that easily compare with some of the world’s best locations outside of the US. So you can have the hang gliding experiences of a lifetime without ever even having to leave the country. Some of my most enjoyable and awe-inspiring flights have taken place in the US, so I know from experience how amazing some of these locations are.
Without further ado, here are the best locations for hang gliding in the United States.
Big Sur Coastline, California
If you're looking for breathtaking views while hang gliding then look no further than the Big Sur coastline in California. This area is known for its rugged coastline and steep cliffs. You'll be able to see an abundance of wildlife while you're up in the air, as well as some beautiful views! That said, launching a hang glider (and gliding, for that matter) is not legal over public beaches or in some other areas in California, so be sure to check all local laws before taking off!
The Great Plains (Kansas)
The Great Plains of Kansas is another great place to go hang gliding. This area is known for its wide-open spaces and lack of trees, making it the perfect place to take off and land your glider. The weather here is usually mild with little wind, making it an ideal spot for beginners. You'll also be able to see some beautiful sunsets while you're up in the air!
Mount Washington, New Hampshire
Mount Washington is one of the highest peaks in New England at an elevation of over 6,280 feet. The weather can get pretty rough here with high winds and snowfall, but if you're looking for a challenge then this might just be what you need! There are many hiking trails that lead up to the top so it's easy enough for anyone who wants to try their hand at hang gliding from such heights.
This location is not for beginners, but anyone looking for a challenge should give Mount Washington a visit.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is a well-known tourist destination for a reason – the views are absolutely stunning! The canyon spans 1,902 miles long, 18 miles wide and over a mile deep. It's no wonder that it's one of the best places to go hang gliding in the United States. The weather is usually calm and there is plenty of open space to launch and land your glider. You'll also be able to see some incredible sights while you're up in the air, such as the Colorado River which winds through the canyon.
Florida is a great place to go hang gliding because it has many open spaces and calm weather. The temperatures in Florida are typically pretty mild year round, so it’s one of the best places to hang glide in the winter to escape the cold. Here are a couple of the best places to go hang gliding in Florida.
One place to go hang gliding in Florida is Sanibel Island. It's a beautiful island that has an abundance of nature and wildlife, as well as many open areas where you can take off from without hitting anything on your way down!
Another place to go hang gliding in Florida is Jacksonville Beach which offers both sandy beaches with some grassy areas for landing if needed. The weather is usually calm and perfect for hang gliding, and you'll get a great view of the Atlantic Ocean while airborne!
Salt Lake City, Utah
If you are looking for a nice place to go hang gliding, Salt Lake City is one of the best locations. The weather conditions here are great and there isn't much wind so you won't have any issues taking off or landing. You will also be able to get some excellent views of Utah's natural landscapes while up in the air which makes it even better than other places we've listed here.
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
One of the most popular hang gliding locations in the United States is Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. As the birthplace of aviation, anyone who’s into any sort of flying or gliding should visit here for the history alone, not to mention the amazing gliding!
This area has a unique landscape that allows for easy take-offs and landings as well as being surrounded by beautiful scenery. The weather conditions are generally mild with winds blowing from north to south at a maximum of 20 miles per hour on average throughout much of the year.
If you're looking for an exotic place to go hang gliding, look no further than Hawaii! The weather in Hawaii is ideal for hang gliding year-round, and there are plenty of locations on the islands that offer great views.
One spot, in particular, is the Ka'anapali Hill Climb, located on Maui. This location offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the island of Lanai. Another great place to go hang gliding in Hawaii is Mount Haleakala. This dormant volcano has a summit of more than ten thousand feet and offers amazing views of the island below. If you're looking for a truly unique hang gliding experience, head to Hawaii — you won't be disappointed!
Sedona Red Rocks, Arizona
Sedona is known for its red rocks and stunning views. This is a great place to go hang gliding because the winds are mild and there is plenty of open space to land if something goes wrong. You'll also be treated to some incredible views while you're up in the air! The sunsets over the desert are spectacular and definitely something that you won't want to miss.
Best Places To Go Hang Gliding In The World (Outside the US)
Now that we’ve looked at the best places to go hang gliding in the country, let’s open up the borders and explore the rest of the world. I will say that some of the locations mentioned above could very easily make the all-word list as well, but we’re going to stick with locations purely outside of the United States from here on out.
So if you’re planning on taking an international trip and visiting the most amazing hang gliding places in the entire world, these locations should be at the top of your list.
The Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps offer some of the best hang gliding in the world. There is a lot of open space for gliders and the weather here is usually mild with little wind, making it perfect for flying. The Alps are located in Switzerland, close to Germany and Austria. So if you're planning on taking an international trip this summer, don't forget about these gorgeous mountains!
Queenstown, New Zealand
Next up on our list is Queenstown, New Zealand. This city is known for its breathtaking views and high mountains that make hang gliding a dream come true. The wind conditions here are perfect to take off from the mountain tops and soar over Lake Wakatipu while you look at the stunning nature below yourself. A must-visit location for all hang gliding enthusiasts!
The French Riviera
The French Riviera is a great place for hang gliding. It's scenic and has plenty of open space where you can land safely, but it also has enough wind to make soaring through the air fun too! The weather in this area is typically mild, so it's a great place to go hang gliding year round.
Italy is perfect for hang gliding because it has some of the best scenery in Europe. The Alps are the perfect backdrop for your adventures, and there's plenty of room on these mountainsides if something goes wrong with your flight or equipment failure occurs during take off/landing procedures!
The best places to go hang gliding in Italy are the Alps, the Dolomites, and the Apennine Mountains which all offer stunning scenery as well as plenty of space if something goes wrong during take off/landing procedures.
Spain has some of the most beautiful hang gliding locations in the entire world. The country is known for its epic mountain ranges, which provide ample space and elevation to launch from while also giving you a breathtaking view as you glide through the air with nothing but nature around you.
The Canary Islands are one of Spain's most popular destinations for hang gliding. There are also many different mountains on the islands where you can launch from, such as El Teide and Mount Teide.
The east coast of Australia is a great place to go hang gliding. There are many beautiful locations throughout the country where you can find an open space and calm weather. While there are plenty of places in Australia to choose from when it comes to hang gliding, my personal favorite spot is Byron Bay.
The weather here is usually perfect for flying, and you will have beautiful views of the coastline while you're up in the air. Keep in mind that there are a lot of hills and cliffs near Byron Bay, so make sure you know what you're doing before takeoff.
The United Kingdom has moderate weather conditions and plenty of wide open spaces for takeoff and landing. In addition, there are numerous locations throughout the UK where you can take flight – from the rolling hillsides of Wales to the breathtaking cliffs overlooking the English Channel. So whether you’re a resident of the UK or just visiting, be sure to check out some of the great hang gliding spots this country has to offer.
South Africa is an incredibly beautiful country, and the best place to go hang gliding here is Cape Town. It’s a big city with lots of activities for tourists, so it will be easy to find things to do while you're waiting for good weather conditions. The wind in this area tends to blow from west-to-east, so it’s best to launch off the cliffs on Signal Hill and then land at one of many beaches nearby.