|King Mountain, Idaho
King Mountain upper and lower launch
sites, as well as Coyote Launch site are located on Forest
Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. All
landing zones (LZ) are located on BLM. HG/PG sites in Idaho
are managed by the Idaho Hang Gliding Association and one
insured by the USHPA. King Mountain is a big air HG/PG 4
site with strong thermal and high wind conditions. HG/PG 2-3
can fly in calm conditions, usually early or mostly in the
evenings, if assisted by experienced HG/PG 4 pilots.
Extensive mountain/desert flying experience plus good
judgment are necessary in order to fly King, Coyote, Big
Southern, and Jump Off safely.
King Mountain is the first big mountain at the south
end of the Lost River Range near Moore, Idaho. An improved
road to launch was made possible by local community support
and our forest service. The road to both launches and Coyote
is a single lane four-wheel drive. Please drive cautiously
and avoid spinning your tires.
The upper launch is 8100 Ft (2400 AGL) with a
small setup area and restricted parking. A metal ramp has
been place on a north slope at upper launch to aid in
switching conditions for HG. Do not use this metal ramp in
dominant strong north conditions, go to Coyote north launch.
Coyote ridge faces northwest. Upper launch is the preferred
HG launch unless the wind is strong, then most HG use lower
launch. Lower launch is 7400 ft (1800 AGL) with a wide flat
slope. PG pilots prefer lower launch. All launching
requires, strong, aggressive technique and experience
judging developing conditions plus variable thermal cycles.
Pilots need to keep in mind the high density altitude. Also,
dust devils frequently all launches, beware!
??XC pilots read this first!
King Mountain is a premier XC site. The flying is
similar to most high desert mountains anywhere (Owens
Valley) with strong lift, rapidly developing weather and
changing winds. Cloud base is often high, usually 15,000 to
18,000 ft and can go much higher. You should use this
altitude too cross the parallel ranges, opening up many
different plus beautiful XC routes. The main (milk run) goes
north from King Mountain to Challis, approximately 70 miles.
The range is fairly continuous, with a few passes and other
terrain obstacles that make King even more challenging.
Proper equipment includes oxygen, water, radios, waterproof
matches, signal mirror, and a map.
The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) covers a large
area south/southeast of King Mountain. This is federally
restricted airspace. Study your maps and DO NOT land within
the INL boundaries.
Be aware of many local airports/strips.
Especially Challis and Salmon due to active back country
flying and fire fighting operations. Never land at the grass
strip located in the mouth of Pass Creek.
The Lost River Valley is very beautiful
with many recreational opportunities plus great sightseeing.
Please visit all the local web sites - most are listed on the
Rising Air Links page - for more
information. The local residents and tourist centers are
also great sources of information.
Other Sites Near King Mountain:
- Big Southern Butte-2400 ft
cinder cone, located in the Snake River Plain about 10 miles
west of Atomic City. It's a good alternative when the ranges
are over developing, but launch can blow out early on good
- Coyote-is a northwest site located across from King
Mountain. A great morning launch and for north days. Jump
Off-is located near the town to Howe. Launches at Coyote
include west, south, and east.
Many tow roads are available
in the Lost River Valley. For more information ask the
locals or visit one of the tourist centers.