Baldy Butte

Basic Stats

Baldy Launch
Elevation:  3,225 MSL at summit
GPS Cooridinates:  46º48'55.03"N  120º27'5.91"W

Baldy Landing Zone
Elevation:  1,250 MSL at river
GPS Coordinates: 46º47'53.77"N  120º25'47.76"W 

Membership Requirements:  NWPG except during Fly-in, plus USHPA
Site Rating:  P2 / H3
Flight Types:  Thermal, XC, Ridge-Lift
Best Season to Fly:  Fall to Spring, with Fall being
                             the best
Best Times to Fly:  Best XC is mid-day with lighter,
                           flyable conditions earlier or later
Wind Direction:  This site works with most wind
                        directions as long as the winds
                        aren't strong.  XC potential is best
                        on light and variable days or light
                        south or southwest winds. 
                        This can be a very active site with
                        strong mid-day conditions.  The 
                        site also offers very nice ridge
                        soaring when the wind is northerly.
Weather:  Check conditions for both Yakima and
               the Kittitas Valley / Ellensburg
Hazards:  XC pilots must avoid the Yakima Firing
               Range located east of the Butte


 Baldy Butte is the highest point along
the Umtanum Ridge.
Great ridge soaring when northerly;
excellent thermal flying
when light and variable or SW. 
Solar heating on the south
launch makes for good thermic flying on
sunny days.

Flying north towards Baldy's LZ with the Yakima river in the background  
photo by Mike Bomstad



The Butte is a privately owned site available to members of NWPC through a site use agreement.

By agreement with the landowner, NWPC members are welcome provided they are USHPA members and P2 + rated and have paid the $40 Annual site fee. The fee normally gets collected at the Baldy fly-in in September. If you have'nt paid or signed a waiver and are not on our list you will be asked to pony up. So please do your due diligence before turning up at the site. The gate has a combo lock which is changed regularly and is managed by Rik Ely.

All pilots must participate in a site orientation with one of the Baldy Butte guides and must sign a comprehensive site waiver on an annual basis that runs from Sept to Sept and can be renewed at the Baldy Fly-in.


To arrange a site orientation with a site guide please contact Rik Ely at 509 306 9525

Getting to Baldy

Access to launch is by private road with a locked gate.  Hiking to launch is also an option.  From I-90 take the Canyon exit.
Turn left at the stop sign and head south on Canyon, which becomes the Yakima Canyon Highway (SR-821). 
The access gate is on the Yakima Canyon Highway just south of the Squaw Creek Ranch and across from a geologic landmark
called 'the rock'.  NWPC members may pay a one-time fee for an access key.  Any vehicle going up to the hill (east side of Canyon Road) is required to be in 4WD/AWD, with a shovel and fire extinguisher on board. Other site requirements are covered in the orientation.
Copyright 2016 by Northwest Paragliding Club