Location: 15 miles southwest of Medford, on Highway 238, to Ruch.
Description: Hang gliders have been flying at Woodrat for more than thirty years. Flying at Woodrat is administered by the Rogue Valley Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association. Altitude gains of over 12,000 ft and XC flights over 50 miles have been made from Woodrat. Woodrat has typical mountain thermal conditions, with excellent glass-offs in the summer.
Launch: 3800' MSL - Faces west and north. The large, and nicely graded, launch and parking area is owned by the BLM. The dirt road to launch (6.6 Miles ) is assessable with a 2WD.
LZ: 1700' MSL - The 50+ acre LZ is privately owned. It is a large, flat, grassy field with a pond, some trees and fences and sometimes cows. There is plenty of parking available. The LZ can be very thermic at times.
NEW RULES as of April 2011: After 30 years serving as the primary LZ at Woodrat, the Hunter LZ at the base of the mountain is now to be used as a bailout LZ only. The Longsword Vineyard LZ is the new primary LZ and is located further from the launches. RVHPA membership is required to land here as well. Please read the site guide for more info.
If you must land at the Hunter Bailout LZ, please land in the upper field (closest to the mountain–the “normal” field), even if cows are present. Exercise good judgment and choose another field if, for example, people are riding horseback in the upper field. Pack up and leave the field as quickly as possible after landing and exit via the gate closest to the parking area (not the gate near the cattle chute). Do not loiter on the ranch or on Bishop Creek
Protocol/Rules: USHPA and RVHPA membership, a reserve parachute, helmet and a signed waiver are required. The upper launch requires an Intermediate (P-3) rating or a Novice (P-2) rating, with an instructor's approval. The lower (700' MSL) launch requires a Novice rating
All pilots are required to be RVHPA members.
There are four membership levels:
The Woodrat parking area is on private property adjacent to a residence and is located along a road that local residents use frequently. Current RVHPA members are granted parking privileges. The landowner has asked us to adhere to these rules:
Accommodations: There are hotels, motels and B&Bs in Jacksonville and Medford.
Nearby camping is at the Cantrell-Buckley Park Campground in Ruch (541.776.7001). From Exit 27, in South Medford, go west for about 1/2 mile on East Barnett Road, cross Highway 99 and then cross the railroad tracks onto West Barnett. Go 2 blocks south on South Grape, then onto West Stewart Avenue, heading west, 2.4 miles. Turn north on Oak Grove Road for .9 mile. At Highway 238 (Jacksonville Highway) go west 12.4 miles, through Jacksonville, and proceed on Highway 238. Turn left on Bishop Creek Road. You will see the LZ 1/2 mile to the east and Woodrat Mountain above. Ruch is past the turn off to the LZ. About two miles west of Ruch is the Cantrell-Buckley Park.
Reservations are only available for the group campsite. There is plenty of shade, picnic tables, fire pits, running water, vault toilets and trash receptacles at the campground. There are flush toilets and hot showers (25˘ for three minutes) across the street in the day use area. A nice river for swimming and sunbathing is only a short walk from the from the camping area.
There is a market on the road between the LZ and the campground. The nearest gas stations and restaurants are in Jacksonville.
The Local "911" Emergency Number is 541.776.7206.
kim"at"flyzephyr"dot"com USHPA Advanced Paragliding
Instructor & Observer