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No Landing at the Athenian School LZ until further notice

We will post any updates here.

Mt. Diablo

Last updated on February 7th, 2024 at 2:03 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

Vice Site Committee Chair: Joe Finkel

[email protected]

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

Pilot Requirements

To fly at Mt. Diablo, pilots must:

  • Be a member of USHPA
  • Be a full or visiting member of the Wings of Rogallo Northern California Hang Gliding Association Inc.
  • 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 2,900′ MSL and approximately 1900′ above the landing area.

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 Tower launch is 3,600′ MSL and approximately 2900′ above the closest landing areas. This area is outside the responsibility of the State Parks. State Parks assumes no liability for the use or misuse of this site. This is the most sensitive launch site at Mount Diablo. Pilots accessing the site must be accompanied by a Site Committee member. No more than five (5) gliders are allowed on launch at a time. Only one vehicle at a time may be down at the tower launch area and must not disrupt the communication workers or their vehicles at any time. Pilots should unload gliders and park vehicles in the Lower Summit Parking Lot.

 

Glide Ratio Required to LZ
Mitchell Canyon LZ 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

South Launch

This launch faces south-southeast directly off the graded pad of a former communications tower site, adjacent to the Juniper Trail and Summit Road.

The launch is at 3,600’ MSL. Curry Point landing zone is 1,800 MSL and the Thousand is 1,000’. This launch affords plenty of room for set up and launching with no significant obstructions.

The primary landing areas for this launch are Curry Point and the Thousand-Footer. Access to this launch is from the Juniper Trail. No parking or off-loading is permitted along Summit Road. Vehicular parking must occur at the Lower Summit Parking Lot.

Glide Ratio Required to LZ
Curry Point LZ 5.6:1
Thousand Foot LZ 4.9:1

Paraglider Recommended Winds
Best wind direction: S, SE, ESE
Minimum: 3mph Ideal: 5mph Max: 10mph

Hang Glider Recommended Winds
Best wind direction: S, SE, ESE
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 MSL Best Wind Direction
Mitchell Canyon 700 N,NW,SW
Thousand Footer 1000 SW,W
Macedo Ranch 700 NW,W,N
Athenian School 700 W,WNW,N
Curry Point 1800 SW,S
Morgan Territory 800 W,NW

 

LZ Characteristics
Macedo Ranch Located 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 CLOSED Located 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 Point Located 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 Territory This 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.

The common radio frequency is 147.405 Mhz and should be used for safety and logistics with respect to other pilots and non-pilots as this is a simplex frequency that is available to all ham radio users.

Use the common radio frequency to alert other pilots of any related to a possible accident or imminent EMS situation.

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

Name USHPA Number
Robert Moore (chair) 59355
Paul Clayton 41958
Dave Clement 1049
Clark Frentzen 15924
Pete Koistinen 34062
Soham Mehta 95973
Mike Soderstrom 79621

Paragliders

Name USHPA Number
Anna Behrens 101928
Victor Berchet 97097
Josh Cohn 53890
Evan Cohen 88630
Dan Fourie 97550
Tristan Horn 98744
Pam Kinnaird 101090
Ben Pedersen-Wedlock 97368
Dan Zaslavsky 97516

Photos from Mt. Diablo