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Location:

1 hour 30 minutes northeast of Tucson, in the Catalina Mountains of the Coronado National Forest, about 40 miles driving. 6000' vertical over the surrounding valleys.

Season:

Year-round, but primarily spring and fall.

Conditions:

Light to moderate northwest through north winds, with a predicted high top of lift. This is an afternoon site.

Hazards:

  • High altitude slope launch. Good launch skills are required.
  • Tall pine trees surround the launch for several miles, with no landing opportunities.
  • This site is in back of a canyon with a large ridge in front. Samaniego ridge is about a 5:1 glide from launch and must be cleared to land safely. This can present a formidable obstical when winds are west.
  • The nearest safe landing area is 8.5 miles west, about an 8:1 glide.
  • This is an extremely advanced site which allows little room for error. Regardless of your experience level DO NOT attempt to fly this site for the first several times without a local guide!
  • Rain or virga in the desert produces gust fronts and microbursts. Watch for overdevelopment or lines of moving dust.
  • Desert vegetation has teeth and eats the wings of the unwary or careless. 

Ratings / Requiremets:

H4 and either substanial previous experience with this site or a rated local sponsor. This is a USHPA insured site, so USHPA membership is required.

Radio:

SAHGA club frequency is 151.925 (USHGA Ch. 2)

Launch:

High-altitude (9600 msl) west-facing grassy slope launch, in a slot in the surrounding pine forest. A 5-8 mph northwest breeze is best for a safe launch.

Launch Direction:

Visitors please see the listed site contacts for information.

Launch Access:

Paved 2wd. Combination lock access.

Launch Parking:

Paved, plenty of room

LZ:

Large cleared field about 8.5 miles west of launch.

LZ Directions:

Visitors please see the listed site contacts for information.

LZ Access:

Paved two-lane road.

LZ Parking:

Road right-of-way.

Facilities:

None.

Emergency:

911. For launch and north landings, Pima County Sheriff's Department. For west landings, Oro Valley PD. For south landings, Tucson PD.