Inspo- Thermal flying epicenter
Inspiration Point, or Inspo as the locals call it, is situated at a perfect place to begin a high level cross-country paragliding or hang-gliding flight.
Getting to launch: This is a drive-up launch with very limited parking. Drive east on Provo Canyon Road, then turn right onto Squaw Peak Road. Continue on Squaw Peak road and take the first right to Squaw Peak Overlook. There is a large sign pointing to Squaw Peak Overlook.
Launch: This is right at Squaw Peak Overlook. The launch generally faces WSW and is a rocky slope of limestone. There is space for 3-4 paraglider pilots to setup and launch at a time. On a very good day, there may be many pilots trying to launch from here, so be efficient with launching.
Landing zones: There are three main landing zones at the bottom of Inspo. Sidehill landing anywhere is strongly discouraged. In order to arrive at any three of the designated landing zones, flight over suburbia is required.
The first one is at the church. This is a large field, and can be used any day except for Sundays.
The second landing zone is at an elementary school. This site is only to be used on the weekends or after school hours. It is a bit tighter to land than the church.
The third landing zone is a vacant field that can be used any time. This is the farthest from launch. Some paragliders will not be able to make it to this landing zone. Hang gliders often can.
Vertical difference: From launch to the various fields is approximately 1800 vertical feet.
Shuttle services: Due to very limited parking at Squaw Peak Overlook, it is highly recommended to organize an ride to the top. Rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft are often employed, or the use of a curious student pilot who wants to listen to more advanced pilots talk about how they will catch thermals to 15,000 and fly the length of the Wasatch in a day.
Typical weather: Inspo is often flown as a midday thermal flying site. It is known for having very strong thermal conditions, and is not recommended for beginner pilots. A light south flow and generally calm winds aloft are the ideal conditions for paragliding and hang gliding at Inspo. Checking out the Salt Lake City soaring forecast and winds aloft forecast on the weather resources page is encouraged.
Airspace Considerations: Much of the Wasatch Range is designated wilderness. It is requested that all flight occur at least 2000 AGL over wilderness, national park, and national monument areas. If planning on traveling south, there is a standard terminal arrival (SPANE and LEEHY) for jet and turboprop traffic near Spanish Fork Peak at 12,200 and above. General aviation traffic often crosses the Wasatch through each canyon, so crossing canyons is recommended to be done with vigilance.
Property type: Launch is National Forest. Church landing zone is owned by the Church of Latter Day Saints. School landing zone is the Canyon Crest Elementary School run by Provo City School District. The vacant field is municipal property that is allegedly to be developed into a park.
Rainy Day Activities: Salt Lake City is home to a few wonderful museums and cultural experiences. The Natural History Museum of Utah, Alf Engen Ski Museum, Clark Planetarium, and Utah Museum of Fine Art are all worth a visit. Temple Square is the center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and has free tours of the Tabernacle and other buildings. If the forecast is unflyable for a few days, a trip to some of Utah’s national and state parks might be worth the drive.