Hanggliding & Paragliding in the Fraser Valley
Mount Woodside in Harrison Mills on the east side of Harrison Bay is a favourite spot with hanggliders and paragliders in the valley. The flying season extends from late February to early November. Mount Woodside summit is located 8 miles (13 km) west of Agassiz on the north side of Hwy 7 east of the Kilby Provincial Park turnoff, accessed via the Mount Woodside FSR, which is passable for two-wheel-drive vehicles. Even if you aren’t planning to launch yourself from one of the ramps, the views from here are some of the best in the valley.
Bridal Falls is a world famous hang gliding and paragliding site that is not only flyable but also soarable just about every fair weather day in the summer. There are multiple landing zones and two well-groomed launches: an upper and a lower, both of which require access by four-wheel-drive vehicles. The Lower Launch is only 20 minutes from Highway 1. It is well groomed and is WNW facing at 2,500′ (750 m) ASL and is mainly used by paragliders. This launch is not recommended for new pilots due to cross winds normally experienced. Swirling winds at this site make it difficult to launch safely. Be cautious and please contact local pilots before flying. Nonetheless, it is possible to launch from here, bench up to the Upper Launch at 5,000′, top land, launch again, top land on lower launch and drive down. A very unique site. Views of the Coast Mountains and the beautiful Fraser Valley with its quilted pastures and snow capped mountains glowing in the fading light of the setting sun are breathtaking.
Bridal Falls is suitable for both hanggliders and paragliders, and is flyable on almost every day during the summer. The flying season runs from early June to mid September.
Bridal Falls is located between Chilliwack and Hope at the east end of the Fraser Valley, 60 miles/100 km east of Vancouver (90 minutes). To access the Bridal Falls flying site, travel east on Chilliwack Lake Road from Vedder Crossing due south of Sardis. Turn north up the Chipmunk Creek road, left over Chipmunk Creek and then take the first west fork. Near the summit, take the right fork and then turn south at the ridge top to the launch site.
Sumas Mountain provides good ridge flying in winter and early spring in easterly outflow conditions, suitable for both hanggliders and paragliders. Sumas Mountain is located in the central Fraser Valley, 9 miles (15 km) northeast of Abbotsford. Access is by two-wheel-drive vehicle via North Parallel Road, Lower Sumas Mountain Road, and then by Batt Road to the summit.
Hope Airport in Hope at the east end of the Fraser Valley, is home to the Vancouver Soaring Association. The club flies out of this small municipal airport to take advantage of the favourable winds that funnel through the Fraser Valley from the west and come sweeping up the sheer ridges of nearby Mounts Hope and Ogilvie. These winds also bring a freshness to the air that you can almost taste. As seen from the quiet soaring of a glider, the geography of the region is dramatically – and graphically – laid out below. To reach the airport, take the Hope-Flood exit from Hwy 1, just west of Hope.
Nearby Regions & Towns
Clubs and Associations
- Vancouver Soaring Association
- West Coast Soaring Club