From Salt Lake City travel south on I-15 towards Spanish Fork. Take Exit 253 onto 8000 South / SR-164 and turn right. At 3200 West turn right. At 7300 South in Benjamin turn left towards West Mountain. In 3 miles, turn right onto 5600 West and then left on 7200 South. You’re once again heading west, and the launch site is visible on the ridgeline straight ahead. Before the next right turn at the corner, note the large hayfield on your right. This is the Big Pasture LZ. Retrieve vehicles can be left here if parked well off the narrow paved roadway.
Continue through a series of right and left 90º turns, north and west and north again. In just under 3 miles, after passing a series of orchards on your left, make a sharp left-hand turn onto a 2-track utility road. This is the road to the launch site. The trail from the blacktop to the primary launch area is 4.8 miles of steep, winding, wash-boarded, rutted dirt road with sharp rocks and dangerous drop-offs.
4WD strongly recommended. 4-ply passenger tires are likely to fail on this rocky terrain. The road is not plowed and it is not gated, so proceed with extreme caution from November through late April, when snow fields and mud are typical and turn-around points may be hundreds of yards apart.
Because the West Mountain launch areas are only loosely defined and poorly marked, it is critical that first-time pilots launch under the supervision of an UHGPGA member-pilot with experience at this site. The launches are characterized by sparse vegetation and sharps rocks underfoot. The (mostly harmless) spider population at the summit during the warm season is remarkable, especially around the towers.
Most paragliders launch from the ridgeline indicated. For reference, this launch site looks straight east along the road leading to the gravel quarry below you. Hang gliders may prefer to launch from the summit closer to the antenna farm; again, launch areas are poorly defined and unmarked, with no permanent tie-downs. Wind streamers from previous users may be present.
West Mountain favors an east or north wind. West winds will produce rotors and down-flow. Do not launch with a tailwind! By midday, expect strong cyclic thermic turbulence.
Strong east or northeast winds, while unusual for this site, can produce soarable ridge lift.
As its name implies, Big Pasture LZ is a 22-acre fenced hayfield in various stages of propagation throughout the warm season. Note the 50-foot-tall wires and poles along the west and south perimeters. The field is wide and flat with a stable, firm landing surface that may be plowed, newly planted, tall hay, or close-cut stubble. Hay bales may be present. Livestock is unlikely since this is a wildlife mitigation buffer zone, but if the field is being grazed, give animals a wide berth.
The property manager has asked that we avoid crowds of gliders in the field, so promptly exit the LZ after landing, fold your glider, and depart the pasture. Use the rigid pipe corral in the southeast corner and avoid climbing fences and gates.
Though farmland is plentiful along the base of West Mountain and along its shorelines, we do not have permission to land in any of these other fields. Unplanned landings on agricultural land outside the Big Pasture LZ should be as close as possible to fence lines, allowing for rapid disassembly and removal of your glider. Use gates whenever possible. Only climb across fences as a last resort, and only at corner posts. Leave all gates as you found them, and offer to compensate the farmer or rancher for any damage to crops.