The Center of the Universe for Hang Gliding and Paragliding

Mingus Mountain, located in the Prescott National Forest between Prescott Valley and Jerome, is the AZHPA's premier flying site. Free (to USHPA members) camping at launch, a poured cement launch ramp and a 'natural ramp' 150 feet north, approximately 4300 feet vertical, stunning scenery, and a grassy breakdown area combine to make this site one of the best in the USA.

Site Introduction

Description

Location: Cottonwood, Jerome.
Usage: Foot Launched: Hang Gliders, Paragliders, Rigid Wings.
Season: All year, but best from Spring to early Fall.
Requirements: H3 / P3, key access during Winter.
Affiliation: Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.
Radio info: USHGA standard business band frequencies, 2M Ham with proper license.
Land ownership: Launch is owned by U.S. Forrest Service. LZ is private land.
Other use: Sightseers and campers near launch.
Emergency: Cottonwood, about 45 mins. drive.
Maintenance: Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.

Launching

Launches: Two cliff launches at 7,800' ASL can get rowdy in strong winds. During best season, launching should be in the early afternoon, before winds switch West.
Winds: SE from 0 to 25 MPH. Wire crew needed for winds over 15 MPH.
Driving directions: Take state route 89A either north from Prescott Valley or south from Jerome to top of mountain. Follow exit to Mingus Recreational Area where a packed-dirt road begins. Follow on dirt past meadow, small lake, church camp and campground. Take a left at the campground to go to launch.
Road conditions: 2WD dirt road in fair condition, 20 MPH speed limit must be respected.

Parking: 20 to 25 vehicles. More space at campground.
Facilities: One Port-a-let at launch. Camping available at campground half-mile from launch.

Setup area: Max. 30 gliders. More space between trees.
Hazards: Frequent rotor on launch ramp: this is typically a morning site. Launching in afternoon is uncommon and can be very hazardous. Visitors should contact local pilots for detailed information.

Flying

Type of flying: Ridge soaring rare, but possible. This is one of Arizona's prime cross-country flying sites with routes into mostly Northwest to East directions depending on winds aloft.
Restrictions: No special flying restrictions.
Hazards: A few radio towers behind launch. During monsoon season, violent thunderstorms may be present or may develop very quickly.

Landing

10th Street LZ: See it in googlemaps Do NOT cross the Cottonwood Airport runway at less than 2000 feet AGL.

Bailout

Old dump: LZ at 3,800' ASL about 200' by 400'. Slight down slope from South to North. Approaches are typically from S->N and WE. Break-down area is on far east edge of LZ.
Driving directions: Drive to Cottonwood airport, stay on pavement past airport, go past cattle guard where road turns to dirt. Continue another two-thirds of a mile to LZ entrance on right. Have the locked-gate combination handy.
Road conditions: Gravel, 2WD.
Parking: Far east and north ends of LZ but leave room for overshooting gliders.
Facilities: Several in Cottonwood.
Hazards: Half mile from Cottonwood airport, look for small airplanes in the air. Several large rocks, steep drop-off on south end of LZ. Use good approach pattern to clear three small knolls about 100' high on west and north sides.

3rd Local Option

Cottonwood Airport: Special training is required to land at Cottonwood Airport. Do NOT land at Cottonwood if you have not been trained on how to use that site! For detailed airport info, please see http://www.airnav.com/airport/P52.

Sedona

Sedona airport: Please check with local hang glider pilots for the current Sedona Airport HG landing protocol.

Contacts

Kris Thomsen (HG Site Director)
Tanner Patty (PG Site Director)
Bill Comstock (HG Flight Director)
Jorge Arango (PG Flight Director)

More on Mingus

Landing At Cottonwood Airport

Landing At Cottonwood Airport

The purpose of this guide is to help you understand how to safely land at Cottonwood Airport in compliance with FAA and City rules. Failure to comply may result in a ban on all hang glider and paraglider landings in the future. Due to the sensitive nature...

Notice to Pilots

The information presented here is for reference only!

It is meant to supplement NOT replace a site walk through with an experienced pilot. In the interest of safety the AZHPA recommends that all pilots unfamiliar with the site fly in the company of an experienced pilot once or twice before flying there themselves. Remember, this is the wild, wild west! Even though a site may be Novice rated, conditions can change quickly, turning it into an unforgiving Advanced site!

Learn to Fly

Hang Gliding Schools

Paragliding Schools