Point of Mountain Could Become State Park

Point of Mountain Could Become State Park

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

John Hollenhorst ReportingA deal is in the works to provide long-term protection for a chunk of land that's very special to some of our more adventurous citizens. It's the place at Point of the Mountain where people like to jump off into the wind.

Nearly constant wind is the main reason this place is so popular with hang glider and paraglider pilots. But their worry is that new homes are horning in on their territory.

They come from all over the world to launch here.

Ty McCartney, Utah Hang Gliding & Paragliding Assoc.: “I would say it’s one of the greatest flying sites in the world.”

In fact, two-thirds of the members of the Utah Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association are from out of state and 20 foreign countries. They come for the wind, even though it's sometimes bitter cold.

Steve Roberts, Deputy Director of State Parks: “For Antarctica it’s not too bad. For Utah it’s pretty cold.”

Deputy State Parks Director Steve Roberts is one of several officials working to give the pilots protection from what they fear the most – development.

Steve Roberts: “Residential development is coming right up to the area. We’d like to maintain an area for recreation.”

The launch site on the north side is used primarily in the afternoon. It's owned by the county and is already a hang-gliding park. The flyers are trying to arrange financing to help the county follow through on its master plan, building soccer fields, toilets and a picnic pavilion. They think that will protect this side from development.

On the south side, the morning launch site is owned by the Utah Department of Transportation and leased to the glider pilots one year at a time.

Ty McCartney: “UDOT owns it, but if the state gets in a crunch like they’ve been in the last several years, they could easily sell it to developers. It’s only a matter of time before developers start looking at this site.”

UDOT officials say they never intended to sell or develop. They're finalizing a deal to protect the land and adjacent private property by transferring control to State Parks.

Steve Roberts: “It provides a recreation facility that they can depend on in the future.”

State Parks would then give the glider pilots a long-term lease.

Ty McCartney: “The one-year lease is not sufficient and the long-term protection is needed.”

The contracts are still waiting for signatures, so the deal isn't final yet, but the hope is that the additional protections will be in place in a few weeks.

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast