Diablo Pilots: No Landing Until Further Notice for the Athenian LZ

Athenian School has asked that we not land at the school.

Until further notice, please do no land there.

We will post any updates here.

Mt. Diablo

Last updated on February 16th, 2021 at 3:42 pm

Quick Overview:

Mount Diablo offers an excellent variety of soaring experiences to the advanced pilot. Pilots regularly soar Diablo’s shear rocky peaks, rolling hills and ridges, gnarly canyons and grassy pastures; sometimes all in the same flight.

As a site open only to USHPA advanced rated Hang Glider and Paraglider pilots, good flying skills and judgement are the keys to rewarding flights at Mount Diablo.

Note: Be certain you are familiar with site rules and meet all requirements before attempting to fly Mt. Diablo.

Site Committee Chair: Robert Moore

[email protected]

Hang gliding – H4
Paragliding – P4
Mini-wings not allowed

COVID Related Changes

Very limited parking is now available to the public. Once the park has reached its safe parking capacity, the park will be closed to vehicle entry. Flying is permitted, though it is obviously logistically complicated if you don’t get a parking space, requiring hiking in from the gate. Additional Info

Pilot Requirements

To fly at Mt. Diablo, pilots must:

  • Be a member of USHPA
  • Have an Advanced rating (P4/H4)
  • Sign the Mt. Diablo Waiver
  • Sign in at the ranger station
  • Receive a site intro from an experienced pilot who has previously flown at Mt. Diablo

Juniper Launch Characteristics

Located at the Juniper Campground on Northgate Road, this launch is a smooth, rolling hillside. Launches are possible from SSW to WNW in light to strong winds.

Juniper Launch is at 1,900′

Glide Ratio Required for LZ
Thousand Footer 4.4:1

Paraglider Recommended Wind Limits
Best wind direction is SW to W
Minimum: 0mph Ideal: 5mph Maximum: 15mph

Hang Glider Recommended Wind Limits
Best wind direction is SW to W
Minimum: 0mph Ideal: 7mph Maximum: 20mph

American Tower Launch

The RDS/American Tower launch site faces north northwest, and can be launched in light to moderate northeast to northwest winds. The launch is 3,600 feet MSL and approximately 2900 above the landing areas. The primary landing area is at the south-western end of Mitchell Canyon Road. Launches are steep drops from the edge of the level set-up area.

NOTE: Due to a separate Special Use Agreement with the American Tower owners, access is limited. To manage this sensitive relationship, only a limited number of local WOR pilots have been provided the combinations into the enclosed restricted area. To fly this site you must be escorted by one of these pilots. Please contact the Site Chairman, Robert Moore to reach one of these pilots. There is a 5 glider limit at this launch. Only one vehicle at a time is allowed in the area.

CAUTION: In strong north or northwest winds, it may not be possible to make it to the Mitchell Canyon landing area. It is a 6 to 1, 3 mile glide from launch.

Glide Ratio Required to LZ
Mitchell Canyon LZ 6:1
Thousand Foot LZ 5.6:1

Paraglider Recommended Winds
Best wind direction: NW, N, NE
Minimum: 3mph Ideal: 5mph Max: 10mph

Hang Glider Recommended Winds
Best wind direction: NW, N, NE
Minimum: 3mph Ideal: 7mph Max: 10mph

Landing Zones

Please see the site procedures for details.

The primary landing zones are 1000 Footer and Mitchell Canyon.

1000 Footer: Located on Northgate Road at the 1000′ elevation. Often considered the most technically challenging designated LZ, It is also the closest to the Juniper launch. A moderately sloping hill allows uphill landings in SW and W directions.

Mitchell Canyon: Located at the end of Mitchell Canyon Road in Clayton, this LZ is one of the easiest designated LZs. A gently sloping field allows uphill landings in N,NW,W and SW directions. It is a 6:1 glide from the American Towers launch.

There are a variety of other alternate / bailout / emergency Landing Zones designated.  Additional information is in the Site Procedures.

LZ altitude in feet MSLBest Wind Direction
Mitchell Canyon 700N,NW,SW
Thousand Footer 1000SW,W
Macedo Ranch 700NW,W,N
Athenian School 700W,WNW,N
Curry Point 1800SW,S
Morgan Territory 800W,NW


Macedo RanchLocated at the end of Green Valley Road in Alamo, this LZ provides excellent landing approaches to a tall hill. Moderate hillside slopes allow uphill landings in N,NW,WNW and NE directions. See site procedures for more details.
Athenian School CURRENTLY CLOSEDLocated at the beginning of Southgate road in Danville, this LZ requires a relatively short final approach to a moderately sloping hillside. Landings are in the N to WNW direction. See site procedures for more details.
Curry PointLocated along Southgate Road, this seldon-used LZ provides an effective bail out for pilots who misjudge the glide to Blackhawk Ridge. This is a technically challenging LZ, with a final approach heading south to land on a small hill at 1800 feet. See site procedures for further details.
Morgan TerritoryThis is a rarely used LZ that is valuable to pilots attempting to soar North Peak. Located on Morgan Territory Road at the eastern base of North Peak, this LZ consists of a moderately sloped hillside allowing a westerly approach and landing at 800 feet. See site procedures for further details.

Visiting Pilots

Flying Mt. Diablo as a visiting pilot requires you have an advanced rating (H4/P4 or IPPI-4 or above), you must be a current USHPA member, and you must get a site introduction from a member of the Site Committee so you can sign the waiver, sign in, and given a comprehensive introduction. Please contact the Site Committee Chair for additional information.

Weather Information/ Best Soaring Conditions

Depending on the combinations of launch, LZ and weather conditions, Mt. Diablo can offer simple or challenging flights. Consult an experienced Diablo pilot for details on soaring conditions.

Hang Gliders

NameUSHPA Number
Robert Moore (chair)59355
Paul Clayton41958
Dave Clement1049
Clark Frentzen15924
Pete Koistinen34062
Soham Mehta95973
Mike Soderstrom79621


NameUSHPA Number
Anna Behrens101928
Victor Berchet97097
Josh Cohn53890
Evan Cohen88630
Dan Fourie97550
Tristan Horn98744
Pam Kinnaird101090
Ben Pedersen-Wedlock97368
Dan Zaslavsky97516

Photos from Mt. Diablo