The BC Rockies region of British Columbia offers a number of good hanggliding and paragliding sites, providing a good variety and numerous options during different weather conditions.
Mount 7, Golden
Mount 7 Hanggliding and Paragliding site is the main hanggliding and paragliding site, located in Golden in the rugged Rocky Mountains. Mount 7 is a thermal and cross-country site, and is considered a world-class gliding destination, hosting top competitions every year. As a thermal site, the afternoons up to 6pm are better suited to advanced pilots. Golden is Canada’s best cross-country soaring site, and 100-km flights over the Columbia River Valley are relatively common. Riding the famous thermals created by a combination of warm sun and steep mountains attracts pilots from around the world. Pilots should note that the terrain is very rugged and the forests are thick, so experience and adequate planning is essential.
The flying season in Golden runs from late May to late October. The Club meets for both hanggliding and paragliding tend to be held at the end of July or early August. Popular meeting places are at the Golden Municipal Campground on the Kicking Horse River, the Nicholson LZ (a large field in Nicholson), and the bird house at Reflection Lake, a large field in Nicholson.
Mount Swansea, Invermere / Windermere
Mt. Swansea 5,655 ft (1,724 metres) was first established as a B.C. Forest Service lookout in 1924. Three launch sites are available; the northwest, west and south launches, with the northwest launch being the most favoured. The landing zone is located at the southeast end of the airstrip at the Invermere Airport.
Access to Mt. Swansea is via Windermere Loop Road off Highway 93/95 south of Invermere. Travel 2.7 km and turn left and cross Swansea Road. Continue 3.2 km where a left turn will take you over the Westroc Gypsum Mine Haul Road onto the signed Mt. Swansea Forest Service Road. After 5 km the steep Mt. Swansea Road terminates at the parking area and trailhead. The road is graded to accommodate high clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles, but is very narrow with numerous switchbacks.
Panorama Flying Site, Panorama
Panorama Flying Site offers superb winter flying with stunning scenery. The 3 Panorama launch sites are accessed via the ski lifts at the Panorama Mountain Ski Resort, requiring a launch on skies. The landing zone is at the Driving Range located just above the triple-chair ski lift.
Mount Mackenzie, Revelstoke
Mt. Mackenzie is located 3.5 miles (6 km) southeast of Revelstoke in the Kootenays. Sandwiched between the spectacular Selkirk and Monashee Mountains, Mt. Mackenzie offers 3 launch sites, but access is difficult and requires local knowledge. Mt Mackenzie is home to the Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
Another Hanggliding and Paragliding site in the BC Rockies region is located at Wasa on Highway 93.
Novices can book a tandem flight for the sheer exhilaration of flight or as an introductory flight to learn the basics of paragliding or hanggliding. Contact the companies listed below.
Clubs and Associations
The Golden Hang Gliding & Paragliding Society
Golden, British Columbia