The Main Launch is a very user friendly place. It has lots of set-up area, a toilet, great launch and lots of parking. Launch altitude is 4,500 feet MSL, so altitude density IS something to keep in mind when launching. You won't find a lot of shade and no water is available at launch. It's a very comfortable 2.9:1 glide to the #1 LZ and 7.0:1 to the #2 LZ.
Pilots flying Hat Creek Rim should have at least a United States Hang Gliding Association foot launched intermediate rating (or have the equivalent skills) and be proficient in; Restricted Landing Field (RLF), Turbulence (TUR), and Assisted Windy Cliff Launch (AWCL). Read important Site and Flying information here.
At right, looking past the main launch to the #1 LZ.
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Main Launch Particulars
Recommended Rating: Intermediate with proficiency in restricted landing field, turbulence, and assisted windy cliff launch.
Soaring Season: May thru September
Elevation: 4,500' MSL
Coordinates: N40°50.533' W121°25.633'
Prevailing wind and Speed (summer afternoon): West to Southwest, 15 to 30mph.
Permanent Windsock: Yes.
Parking: Huge parking area.
Setup Area: Smooth gravel with room for 20+gliders or more.
Launch: West-facing slope. Plenty of room for assistants. Excellent for paragliding. Some nearby brush if a tip were to get too low.
Launch assistants: Recommended.
Cross Country Potential: Yes. It’s only eighty-eight downwind-miles to Lakeview’s Sugar Hill, a feat yet to be accomplished.
Nearest LZ: The #1 LZ a short 2.9:1 glide away. This LZ is directly below and to the left of launch.
Most Common LZ: The #2 LZ is an easy glide on a soarable day. It's a 7.0:1 glide away.
Water: No., Shade: Limited., Toilet: Yes., Trash: No.
Vehicle Access: Excellent gravel road.
Cellular Service: Depends on provider.
Ham repeater: 147.030+
Spectators often gather just to the left of launch. Keep spectators 50' back for your safety and theirs.
Inspect all LZs before you launch.
Risk Mitigation Plan
There is a porta-potty at launch.
Site map and information is sometimes available in a box attached to the Forest Service sign at launch.
Camping and Campfires
Be fire safe and leave no trash
If you plan on camping near launch, please comply with all fire regulations and/or restrictions. Your free REQUIRED campfire permit is available at the following places; The USFS center on Hwy 89 (just south of Fireside), the Old Station Visitor Center and CDF in Johnson Park. NOTE: Campfires at the site (and outside all established campgrounds) will most likely be banned by the end of June due to fire danger.
REMEMBER, YOU ARE THE PILOT IN COMMAND AND SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SAFETY. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE OF YOUR ABILITY AND HAVEN'T THOROUGHLY FAMILIARIZED YOURSELF WITH THE SITE BEFORE FLYING...DON'T FLY.
YOU FLY AT YOUR OWN RISK.