Beaver Mountain (9731’) is a late afternoon and evening hike-and-fly site suitable for P3 pilots and up. With skill and a little luck, it can be possible to bench up from launch and climb out over 3000’, flying above rugged cliff bands and forest, to the top of Beaver Mountain. The views of the Tetons, Gros Ventre and Wind River Ranges are stunning, and it’s sometimes possible to “fly the box” with plenty of lift through sunset. This site involves primarily working thermals with ridge lift a secondary factor.
JHFFC requires a P3 minimum rating due to the technical launch, occasional strong thermal cycles, and the need to understand winds aloft forecasts and use of speedbar to minimize the risk of blowback. An understanding of descent techniques and shear layers is important as well. This is a remote site; we encourage all pilots to come prepared with first aid kits and radios. An inReach is highly advised too!
Please CONTACT A CLUB MEMBER before visiting this flying site.
Operating Parameters: Ideal wind direction 250-300deg. Wind strength: min 0mph/max 16mph; ideal 8mph.
Minimum required glide ratio: 2.6
Nice, mostly-shaded hike up ~850’ through forest. Elevation at launch 7250’. Steep slot cleared of trees on a forested, west-facing mountain slope. Tricky, loose "ball bearing”-type footing on a quite steep sidehill slope. Typically flown after 5PM when winds aloft are forecasted to be west and light. Drive time from Jackson ~30min; hike time ~45min.
Elevation 6300’. Large, open grassy field adjacent to dirt access road. Parking on grass just off road. BYO windsock. Do not land in the horse pasture (horses do not like scary, colorful canopies dropping out of the sky!).
BE AWARE OF:
Launch is steep, technical and often frustrating due to loose scree. Experience and skill with sidehill launches highly recommended.
Trees below/beside launch require purposeful flying away from terrain and obstacles upon launching.
Check winds aloft before flying, and avoid flying this site in moderate/strong winds. The risk of getting blown back is very real, and the terrain is extremely remote and inaccessible with no cell service or trails. Radios, first aid kits and inReach devices are encouraged for this site.
As sunset approaches, be aware of strong catabatic flow pumping out the canyon to the south. Sometimes this layer isn’t noticeable until you’re <100ft AGL and can be 15+MPH. We recommend staying north of the LZ as you get ready to set up your landing approach.