Woodrat Mountain

Location:  15 miles southwest of Medford, on Highway 238, to Ruch.

Map of the AreaSeason:  Spring, Summer & Fall.  The Starthistle Fly-In, an event that is not to be missed, takes place each year over Memorial Day weekend.

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.Woodrat Launch - Photo Courtesy of Michael Uy

LZ:  PLEASE NOTE: The Hunter LZ is temporarily closed. Please do not land there without checking the status with a local pilot. 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.

Woodrat LZ - Photo Courtesy of Michael Uy

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 Road.

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:

Visiting Annual Member - $30
Local Annual Member - $60
Commercial Pilot Annual Member – $100
10 Day Visiting Pilot Member – $15 for ten consecutive days.

No smoking or alcohol.
No dogs.
No littering.  Pick up any litter that you see.
No kiting, practicing or instruction in the LZ.
Deflate your wing immediately after landing and carry it to the designated fold-up area. HG pilots:  Carry your glider to the designated fold-up area immediately after landing.
Enter and exit the LZ at the new access gate in the NW corner of the main field.
Keep all gates closed and latched at all times.
No vehicles inside any gated area or in the LZ field.
Avoid walking by or lingering at the cattle chute between the main field and the feed lot.
No acro above or near the LZ.
No powered aircraft within earshot of the LZ.
If you are unsure about a rule, ask a RVHPA member or instructor for clarification.
Please help make sure other pilots are aware of and follow these rules.

Parking Area Rules

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:

No smoking & no alcohol
No dogs outside vehicles.
No littering. Please pick up any litter you see.
No loud music or noise.
Do not block driveways or Bishop Creek Road at any time and do not set gear on the road.
Walk on the shoulder of the road when going to/from the LZ.
No overnight parking.
If the RVHPA parking area is full, do not park elsewhere along Bishop Creek Road. Instead, go 7/10 mile past the parking area, turn right, cross the cattle guard, and at the first pullout along the BLM road up the mountain.

Local Contacts:  Kevin Lee (Thermal Tracker), Chris & Kris Wick

Accommodations:  There are hotels, motels and B&Bs in Jacksonville and Medford.

Jacksonville Lodging

Medford Lodging

The Crash Pad (Camping)

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.

Other Campgrounds Along the Applegate River and Applegate Lake

The Local "911" Emergency Number is  541.776.7206.

Woodrat PG Site Record

Weather at Woodrat


Copyright 2000-2015      "flyzephyr" is a service mark of Zephyr Paragliding      Contact: Kim Galvin      kim at flyzephyr dot com      510.748.0451      Updated on 02/11/2015