Arizona paragliding spots provide some of the best conditions for soaring in the USA. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pilot, Arizona’s vibrant landscape and abundant thermals make it ideal for flying. From beginner-friendly hills to advanced ridge soaring, Arizona has it all.
And because there are operators throughout the state, you’re never far from a great Arizona paragliding experience. Paragliding is the perfect activity whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-packed adventure or a relaxing way to take in the scenery. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Arizona paragliding adventure today!
Arizona Paragliding Best Sites
Arizona is one of the most difficult states to hike and camp in because of its unbearably hot weather, droughts, and other extreme conditions. Being a pilot comes with great responsibility. Before flying, it’s important to survey the area for risks and have appropriate mitigation plans in place.
Most flights in Arizona are done using mountain thermals, which calls for not only being physically fit but also having a clear head. You must constantly be aware of your surroundings and what changes in terrain might come up suddenly/. Staying hydrated is crucial, as well as carrying extra water just in case something goes wrong while you’re up in the air.
Pilots need to have a strong connection with their gliders. This way, they can be prepared for the short launch window and demanding launch techniques. They also need to understand how local weather conditions play into forecast models.
However, Arizona’s landscape provides some of the best conditions for paragliding if you know where to go. Below are Arizona’s top 9 spots for an unforgettable paragliding experience.
Sedona is one of Arizona’s most beautiful place for paragliding. Located in the Verde Valley, Sedona offers stunning views of the red rock formations and an impressive landscape for flying. On a clear day, pilots can take off from the popular Bell Rock Pathway, which provides easy access to thermals and strong winds.
The area around Sedona is also home to several other great flying sites, making it a mecca for paragliding in Arizona. Whether you’re a seasoned pilot or a first-time flyer, Sedona is definitely worth a visit.
Mount Elden is a must-fly site. Located in Flagstaff, Arizona, it’s the closest paragliding and hang gliding spot to town. You’ll mostly see thermal flying in the area, but if you go at the right time and have a guide, you may be able to enjoy some ridge soaring. The views of Northern Arizona from above are stunning!
The magnificent views of Sedona and the Grand Canyon make thermals flying here worth it, but remember to contact locals before you take off. New pilots are required to have an official site introduction because of the technical, high desert conditions on launch and in the landing zone. The designated landing zone is Buffalo Park, but if needed, there is a bailout landing zone on Pipeline Trail.
Merriam Crater, located in northern Arizona is a challenge for even the most experienced Thermal/XC pilots. Merriam Crater has been an official flight park since 1991 and is dedicated to Dixon White, a late paragliding instructor. It’s situated on the edge of the Navajo Indian reservation near the Little Colorado River Valley (LCR). However, Merriam Crater isn’t USHPA/RRRG-insured site.
This cinder cone, created from a now-dormant volcano, offers treeless takeoffs for both hang glider and paraglider pilots that go from morning sled rides to long XC flights. The area also has good flying conditions during certain times of the day. However, new P2 pilots should also be aware that local conditions here can be quite difficult to predict and it’s essential to speak with other pilots who have flown here before seeking any assistance!
Humboldt Mountain is a beautiful sight located in the Tonto National Forest at the southwestern end of Arizona’s range of mountains, valleys, and mesas. Due to its excellent conditions, it has been a renowned destination for paragliding and hang gliding since the early 1980s. This site is a great choice for all skill levels and offers an opportunity to explore Arizona’s breathtaking views of high desert terrain.
Seasonal monsoons affect the area, so it’s important to plan your flight accordingly. The launch sites are located on both sides of the mountain, with easy set-up access and plenty of room for a comfortable launch. The Humboldt Mountain landing zone is safe and easy to locate, making this site an ideal choice for both experienced and novice pilots.
Glen Canyon is Arizona’s premier site for paragliding. Written in the stars and located near Page, Arizona is Antelope Canyon. This rocky canyon offers visitors a stunning view of Lake Powell as well as the majestic Colorado Plateau. The area is especially known for its thermal activity during summer months, which can make flying quite difficult due to the rough terrain and wind conditions.
The launch sites are on both sides of the canyon, with convenient access and enough space for a comfortable take-off. Unexperienced visitors should also be aware that this site is not insured by USHPA/RRRG so it’s crucial to chat before making plans to come here.
Come explore one of Arizona’s most picturesque paragliding destinations, locate in Page on the border of Arizona and Utah. With views of amazing Lake Powell from high up and stunning surrounds, it’s perfect for XC flying lovers. Although thermals are favourable during summer months, at certain times of day there is the potential for higher winds.
The perfect place to explore via paragliding during the summer months is XC flying, with launch sites on both sides of the lake and reliable thermals. However, be sure to check the wind conditions before you launch, as the winds can pick up at certain times of day. With its beautiful scenery and perfect flying conditions, Page is a must-visit destination for any paragliding enthusiast.
Arizona is a popular destination for paragliding, and the Mingus Mountain range is one of the best places to take advantage of the state’s great flying conditions. Located in the Prescott National Forest between Prescott Valley and Jerome, the Mingus Mountains offer stunning views and a variety of flying conditions.
At nearly 4,300 feet of elevation on top of a beautiful high desert mountain range, you can take off for an incredible cross-country flight with potential in all directions. Then relax in the shade of pine trees at the campground or visit the historic towns of Jerome or Sedona while you’re gone. So if you’re looking for some of the best Arizona paragliding, look no further than the Mingus Mountains.
Are you looking for an amazing place to go paragliding? If so, you should definitely check out South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona. The park spans thirteen miles and features a range of mountains across the southern part of the city. It’s open to the public for sightseeing, horseback riding, hiking, bicycling and more.
Here you can find tandem paragliding flights, as well as training courses for those who want to learn how to paraglide on their own. The views from up in the air are absolutely incredible, and you’re sure to have an experience you’ll never forget. Keep in mind that the park can be considerably crowded during special events and on weekends, so it’s best to plan your visit accordingly.
Saddle Mountain is located in Arizona’s Maricopa County, west of Phoenix. It has an elevation of 3,739 feet and offers incredible views of Arizona’s high desert landscape.
The launch site is located at the top of the mountain with easy access for setup. From there, pilots can explore Arizona’s breathtaking views as they soar through the air on thermals and ridge lifts. The landing zone can be found on nearby Table Mesa Road, making this a great spot for pilots of all skill levels.
Tandem Flights and Schools of Arizona Paragliding
Arizona paragliding operators offer tandem flights and training courses, so you don’t have to be an experienced paraglider to enjoy Arizona’s stunning landscape from the skies. With an experienced pilot beside you, you can sit back and relax as you take in Arizona’s beautiful scenery.
For those looking for a more thorough education in Arizona paragliding, there are also many schools located throughout Arizona that offer both ground school and flight classes. Through these courses, pilots learn the basics of flying – such as understanding launch techniques, controlling their glider during flight, and dealing with different weather conditions – while honing their skills in a safe environment.
Flying Lizard Paragliding
Location: 1834 N Desmond Ln, Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: +1 520-440-7644
Desert Wind Paragliding
Location: 5231 E Cambridge Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Phone: +1 602-909-2228
ARIZONA PARAGLIDING ASSOCIATION
Location: 1525 S. Higley Rd., #104 PMB 8425 Gilbert, AZ 85296
Phone: +1 602-909-2228
FAQs About Arizona Paragliding
What are the best Arizona paragliding sites?
Arizona has numerous paragliding spots, depending on your skill level. Some of the top Arizona paragliding sites include South Mountain Park, Humboldt Mountain, Sedona, etc. Arizona also offers great cross-country soaring along its mountain ridges and desert valleys.
Are there schools for Arizona paragliding adventures?
Yes! Arizona is home to several schools dedicated to teaching the basics of paragliding as well as more advanced techniques. Many of these schools offer tandem flights to experience the beautiful Arizona landscape from a bird’s eye view.
Where can I find a certified tandem paragliding partner in Arizona?
Arizona is full of experienced paragliders who offer tandem flights. There are numerous operators that can help you find the perfect certified partner for your next Arizona paragliding experience.
How do Arizona’s weather conditions affect paragliding?
Arizona experiences strong winds, especially in spring. It is important to check the weather forecast before taking off and plan your flights accordingly. Arizona is known for its thermal activity during summer, which makes it a great spot for experienced pilots looking for big mountain flying.
Are there any Arizona paragliding clubs?
Arizona is home to several active paragliding clubs, including Arizona Paragliding Association and Arizona Hang Gliding & Paragliding Society. These clubs provide a great way to connect with other Arizona paragliders and access to area events.