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McKinley Ridge

Location summary:

  • City: Battle Ground, Washington

  • Skill level: Intermediate

  • Wind: East, West

  • Access: The entire week, Monday through Sunday

  • Landing area quality: Small, grass and surrounded by trees.  Multiple passes are possible.

  • Hazards in the area: The usual trees.  The road is the biggest hazard.


Directions to the site:

  • You should have someone show you the way.

  • I've been here less than a dozen times, and I feel like I'm lost every time.

  • I-5 North of Portland, into Washington.

  • Take 4th Plains exit.

  • Right (E) to WA 503 East.

  • Go through Battle Ground, Brush Prairie, and Hison Bridge.

  • Turn East on Lucia Falls Road.

  • Just past Multon Falls campground, turn right on county road #12, follow signs to Sunset Falls campground.

  • Turn right into the campground, go right through, across the stream, and start climbing up on forest road #42 (might be #41).  Nine grueling, wash-boarded, potholed, muddy or dusty miles later you will come to a gravel pit area.

  • The best flying is 1/2 mile further south on the ridge, you have to convince your car to go over that hill on the south side of the gravel pit, through the knee-high mud ruts in the road, and finally stop where the trees have been thinned out and the flying can be done from the West side of the ridge.

  • View the map.


Site review:

This place can be flown from one side in the morning and the other side in the afternoon. Very consistent winds, just not ever sure which side they will be on. Huge lift, great views of the mountains, out in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Snowed in for the winter. This is a great place to fly, but a lousy place to drive to. I usually try to mooch a ride when I go here.

We have held really great slope races here. Don P. did his 3hr LSF level IV slope flight here. One winter, we came up, went as far as the snow allowed, flew around for awhile, and when we came back there were mountain lion tracks all around our cars.

Description provided courtesy of Pat Chewning.

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