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Getting There:

From I-15 in Cottonwood Heights, take I-215 east to Exit 6 onto SR-190. Continue onto E 6200 South and follow this east to E Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. Proceed up the canyon 14 miles past Solitude Resort. As you pass the Redman Campground on your right, you’ll see a green road sign indicating the road status (open or closed) to Guardsman Pass. Take the next sharp left uphill onto Guardsman Pass Road / SR-190.

Road Conditions:

The road is paved all the way to Guardsman Pass, which is directly below the launch site. The road from Solitude up to the pass is usually closed during snow season. 4WD or chains may be required at even when the road is open, but if it’s clear of snow the pass is 2WD-accessible.

Reaching the pass, the peak and launch site is on your left, and you’ll catch a glimpse of the Meadow LZ two miles away to the east. Parking is no longer available at the pass, so continue down Guardsman Pass Road, stay left at the Y intersection, and pull into the car park another third of a mile ahead on your right. You can hike back to the summit or have someone drop you off.

The summit is variously known as Tri-County Peak, Jupiter Bowl Peak and Jupiter Peak. A ski-lift service trail loops around the west side up to the peak. You’ll have to hike the last 600 yards or so—the service road is gated part-way up.

The Setup:

The rounded grassy summit offers plenty of room for multiple gliders to set up at the same time. There are no permanent tie-downs. Best winds are from the south, and improve from morning to midday. After that, especially in summer, watch for over-development and cyclic thermic turbulence. Winds can quickly swing around from the north. In calm to light north winds, watch for dust devils.

The best time for climbing out and going cross-country is between 11:00am and 12:30pm, just as the first cumulus clouds form overhead. Once the site turns on, your window is very short—30 minutes or less, after which the site can quickly shade out and launch winds will shut down. Be set up and ready to launch as soon as optimal conditions develop.

Mini-wings and speed-wings occasionally launch and land at turnouts along the valley road to the east, but with a minimum required glide ratio of nearly 12:1, they will not reach the Meadow LZ and the site is best reserved for paragliders (with a little lift) and hang gliders.

The Landing Zone:

The Meadow LZ consists of a 14-acre open parcel gently sloping south from the valley road. The closer you land to the road, the drier and firmer the surface will be. The draininage in the center of the meadow can be marshy, and mosquitos have been described as “fierce” in this area.

There are no tie-downs in either the launch or landing areas.

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