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Jupiter

Jupiter Hill

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Park City, Utah

Revised 01 Feb 2024

Location

N40º 36' 47.88" W111º 32' 23.64"

40.6133, -111.5399

Elev 9980' / 3042m

Ratings & Skills

USHPA P3 / H3 (H2/P2 w/instr)
High Altitude, Foot Launch

Radio Comm

Primary . . . . . . . .  447.800

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

Emergency . . . . . . 146.560

Access

Road from Brighton to Guardsman Pass closed during snow season. When open, the road is paved and accessible to all vehicles. Hike the Tri-County Peak Trail to Guardsman Peak, then east one mile to Jupiter Peak.

Known Hazards

High density altitude. Steep launch. Strong late-day cyclic thermic turbulence. Prone to rapid over-development. Mid-afternoon and later, use caution for north winds.

Site Sensitivites

Guardsman Peak/Tri-County Peak and Jupiter Peak are bounded on all sides by private landowners and Salt Lake County public land. The launch is on Park City Resort property.

Attention All Users: Jupiter  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.

Road Conditions

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

Reaching the pass, there's a parking lot on the south side of the road and the trailhead on the north side. You’ll catch a glimpse of the Meadow LZ two miles away to the east.

The trail climbs 600 yards up and around the west side of Tri-County Peak. Reaching the summit, look down the ridge trail to the east and you'll see Jupiter Peak a mile away. Catch your breath and then hit the trail, which snakes along the narrow ridge due east between the two peaks.

The Setup

Jupiter Peak's 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, keep an eye out 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.

2024 Jupiter Launch Detail.webp
The Landing Zones

Jupiter Peak has excellent potential as a cross-country starting point. Pilots launching here under favorable conditions can expect to find thermal lift, climb out and depart the area. Failing this, the Meadow LZ is a short glide down the valley to the east. This 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 THE mosquitos have been described as “fierce."

Pilots skilled enough to find and work the numerous midday thermals around the peaks above Park City have more options. There are several parks and open spaces in town, including Library Park, City Park and Dozier Field at Park City High School. These are depicted on the overview map but are not analyzed in this site guide, and their use is at the discretion of the pilot. Scout these LZs in person if you plan to use them.

Pilots have successfully used the PC Hill LZ at the North 40 Playing Fields, a peanut-shaped 7-acre soccer complex at the western base of a prominent knoll bearing the city's white "PC" monogram. The surface is level, well-drained turf, generally free of obstructions, although portable soccer goals may be in place. As always, scout this LZ before use, and consider using a spotter or asking your retrieve driver to clear the LZ before landing.

There are no tie-downs in any of the launch or landing areas described in this site guide.

Meadow LZ Detail.webp
2024 PC Hill LZ Detail.webp
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