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Grandeur

Wasatch National Forest

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Millcreek, Utah

Revised 01 Feb 2024

Location

N40º 42' 24.62" W111º 46' 43.45"

40.7068, -111.7787

Elev 6308' / 1922m

Ratings & Skills

UPSHPA H3/P3 (H2/P2 w/instr)

High Altitude, Foot Launch

Restricted Landing Field

Radio Comm

Primary . . . . . . . .  447.800

Alternate . . . . . . . . 447-8.25

Emergency . . . . . . 146.560

Access

2WD on paved public roads to the parking lot, then a steep one-mile hike up well-marked (north launches) or semi-marked (south launch) trails.

Known Hazards

MIdday thermic turbulence and strong, shifting upper level winds. Long, steep hike to launch. Rattlesnakes common in the launch area. Mini-wings note required glide ratio.

Site Sensitivites

Austere launch site with no emergency services. Access trails and launch sites situated on both National Forest land and private property. The restricted LZ is on public school grounds. Do not use the Eastwood Elementary LZ during normal school hours or when otherwise occupied (eg., during youth sports). Law enforcement response and loss of site access may result.

Attention All Users: Grandeur is a challenging, high-altitude mountain-thermal site. No pilot should fly at this site who is not a current USHPA and UHGPGA member holding the minimum USHPA ratings and skills indicated. Visiting and first-time users should obtain a detailed in-person pre-flight briefing from a local UHGPGA member-pilot with recent flying experience at this site. This briefing should take place at the launch site on the day of the flight. Pilots should also familiarize themselves with the known hazards and site sensitivities described in this guide. As pilot-in-command, you alone are responsible for assessing your fitness for flight, the airworthiness of your glider and equipment, the suitability of the current conditions for launch and recovery, and for continuously monitoring glider position and performance to ensure a safe landing at an approved landing zone. If in doubt, do not launch.

Trail Conditions

Grandeur is a hike-and-fly site. The distance from the trailhead to the North and Upper North Launches is a little over a mile, with a 1300-foot elevation gain. About a third of a mile up the trail you'll find the lower branch trail to the South Launch. On either trail you will be climbing a steep path in open, brushy terrain. The Great Basin rattlesnake, a protected species in Utah, is a common sight along the Grandeur Peak Trail, especially during the spring and fall (our best flying seasons) when he is active during daylight hours. Watch your footing and give any rattlers you encounter a wide berth. Be familiar with First Aid for a snake bite.

The Setup

The North and Upper North Launches are along the trail on the spine of the ridgeline leading up to Grandeur Peak. The grade levels somewhat and you'll come to a wide flat spot just past a trail fork leading south. This is the North Launch. If you continue to climb the trail another 300 yards, you'll reach the Upper North Launch. Both launch areas offer plenty of room to set up and select a takeoff spot. The North Launch is the easier of the two and works well with northwest to southwest wind. Chances of climbing out from the North Launch are about 50/50. The Upper North Launch is steeper and rockier but affords an 80% chance of climbing out during the right conditions.

The South Launch works better with a south to southwest wind, and is more directly aligned with the LZ. All launches are rated P3, or P2 with an instructor. Midday thermic turbulence is common and should be avoided by P2 pilots.

2024 Grandeur Launch Detail.webp
The Landing Zone

Reaching the LZ requires overflight of a dense suburban neighborhood. The LZ consists of playing fields at Eastwood Elementary School, and for this reason the site is not available during normal school hours. Children may be present in the LZ at any time. After school and weekends, it is common for all useable landing fields to be occupied by youth sports leagues, and law enforcement has in the past responded to complaints of glider pilots interrupting games.

Scout this LZ before launch. Be in phone or radio contact with a spotter at the LZ, and do not launch if you cannot maintain adequate separation from bystanders when you land. "Adequate separation" means no one has to pause or alter their activities to accommodate your arrival!

The longer, narrower upper LZ is on the east side of the school building with a steep embankment on its eastern perimeter. The square lower LZ is south of the school building. There are no wires bordering the school, but both fields have fixed playground structures plainly visible. All landing surfaces are level, well-drained turf.

2024 Eastwood Elementary LZ Detail.webp
Special Considerations

Park and begin your hike from the public parking area on Wasatch Boulevard. Avoid parking on neighborhood streets, especially the cul de sac on Cascade Way.

The hike to all launches is primarily on Wasatch National Forest land, but you will traverse (and possible launch from) private property as well. You will share the trail with other hikers. After landing, promptly pack and remove your glider. This site is noise- and traffic-sensitive. Our host is the Granite School District, and they appreciate your professional and considerate use of their property.

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