Flight Park State Recreation Area
Photo source: superflyinc.com via ABC4
Now, let me preface my enthusiasm for this particular park be saying that there's pretty much nothing to do here on the ground. A decent size parking lot, a great little sidewalk, a grass slope, and then nothing else beyond. The reason you go there is to get into the sky! And I think it's probably the most visable state park that nobody knows about.
|Photo source: paraglideutah.com|
The Flight Park State Recreation Area is located in Draper at the Point of the Mountain...literally. Anytime you've glanced up at the mountain as you've driven I-15 between Salt Lake & Utah counties, you've stared right at this tiny treasure. Most likely what you have seen and recognized are spots and dots of color floating around above you as you motor along down below-sometimes dozens of paragliders with adrenaline pumping as they enjoy their day.
The Point of the Mountain, and more specifically, Flight Park State Recreation Area, is known world-wide as a premium site for paragliding training. The wind patterns converging there are reliable and predictable. Early in the morning, you'll find trainers and trainees launching from the south side of the mountain, and later in the afternoon have them in full view as they float over their launch site on the north.
|Photo source: saltlakecityparagliding.com|
Is it a park with rich history and beautiful sites? No. It's relatively brand new and butts right up to Draper's sprawling development communities. Is that a variety of activity once you get there? No. If you're not flying, it could be pretty boring. BUT, worth a drive up there still! The paragliders at the Flight Park are friendly, lighthearted, excited, and willing to share their passion with anybody interested enough to ask a question. Bring a blanket along, pull up a patch of grass, and be mesmorized by the color, skill, and grace in motion all around you!
Directions and Information:
Normally on this blog I do not write about places or activities that cost much (or any) money. Flight Park State Recreation Area is free and open to the public. However, once you've been there I'm almost certain the paragliding bug will bite you. There are MANY paragliding outfits offering tandem flights, introductory lessons, and full instruction. Some of those can be found here (and someday I'll share with you my own tandem paragliding experience.)
To get there take Exit 288 off Interstate 15, then drive east to the frontage road, which is called Minute Man Drive, and turn right. Follow it south for about 2.5 miles (drive carefully – there are many very large construction vehicles coming and going). Turn left on the dirt road just past the construction buildings (There's a sign for "Point Of The Mountain Flight Park"). Follow the road up to the top of the mesa and turn left into the parking area.