North Side Point of the Mountain
The North Side is the source of many good flights, big smiles, and a sense of pilot community. Many paraglider and hang glider pilots will show up just for the sake of seeing their friends, eating a picnic, and watching a beautiful sunset.
The lower hill is about 300 vertical feet, and can be used to fly ridge lift and thermals until high enough to fly back to the bigger hill, which is about 1000 vertical feet high. Magical north side evenings can see 80+ people flying at once, with plenty of room for everybody. For pilots looking to test their skills, there is a monthly race course to be ran during the summer months, called the Point Rat Series.
This site is most often flown by visiting pilots with experience and students who have demonstrated confident skills at the South Side.
Launch: A county park at 5160′ (1572m) has parking, bathrooms, and grass to launch on. Hang glider setup pads on on the eastern side of the park. Some people hike straight up the mountain to a maximum elevation of 6120′ to launch.
Landing zone: Most people land where they started from. If insufficient rising air is found to fly in, landing at the bottom is easy. The large square piece of terrain slopes slightly uphill
Vertical difference: From the parking lot to the bottom landing zone is 330 vertical feet (100m). From the top of Steep Mountain to the parking lot is 960 vertical feet (290m)
Shuttle services: Many schools have students land at the bottom landing zone. Hitching a ride with them is easy if gear is packed up and ready to go. Hiking up the trail from the bottom to the parking lot is often faster than waiting for a ride. There are no shuttle services to the top of Steep Mountain
Typical weather: The north side is typically flown with clear skies and a north flow down the valley. The ideal forecast is north-northwest 8-12mph from NOAA. If curious about the conditions right now, a decent rule of thumb is to divide the wind reading at the South Side by 2. Links to these resources can be found on the Salt Lake Weather Resources page.
Airspace Considerations: The North side sits near a corridor of general aviation traffic approaching Salt Lake City from the south. There is a marking on the Salt Lake City VFR sectional warning GA pilots of extensive hang glider and paraglider activity, but some pilots fly right over the flight park unaware of how dense the freeflight traffic can be.
Flying over the prison north of I-15 is not advised
Property type: County Park
Site history: This hill has been used since the 1920’s for flying gliders of all kinds. Military flight training as well as recreational flying has taken place here.
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.