Goat Rock

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Location:  Sonoma Coast State Beach, 1 mi S of Jenner. DeLorme 92 A3

Elevation:  160 ft. MSL

Driving Directions:  Take Highway 1 south from River Road near Jenner. Turn right at the top into Goat Rock State Beach.  Launch is at the Arch View parking lot above Goat Rock.

Usage/Requirements: 

  • Motorless recreational hang gliding and paragliding allowed. No mini-wings allowed.
  • Must be USHPA member.
  • Must have minimum Hang/Para rating (see Ratings, below).
  • M1 and M2 ratings are not allowed. Mini-wings are not allowed.

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  • Must have a signed waiver on file at park headquarters in Duncans Mills.
  • Must have a copy of the signed waiver in possession.
  • Sonoma Wings H4/P4 must be present for flying to happen, duties are:
    • check USHPA membership, ratings of pilots, ensure compliance with requirements
    • education of pilots on site rules, best practices, etiquitte
    • monitor weather and winds
    • H4/P4 present can stop any or all from flying if necessary
  • Sponsors are responsible for their guests, and to ensure their guests are familiar with the rules. Sponsors must be Sonoma Wings H4/P4.
  • Don’t fly south of Peaked Hill, over Penny Island, or over seals on the sand spit.
  •  Don’t land on Goat Rock.
  • Don’t fly low over houses, cars, people or roads.
  • Take off within 250 feet of the parking lot.  Do not take off from anywhere else.
  • Land only on designated beach. Don’t land on any other State Coast beach or property.

note on waiver: download, print, and sign two copies of the waiver. Send one to the Park Headquarters in Duncans Mills. Keep a signed copy in your harness or car to show the ranger if they ask to see it. A ranger may ask to see identification, your USHPA card, and your Sonoma Wings membership card.

Launch: W to NW (sometimes SW), post frontal usually best.  Soarable for hang gliders in winds 14kts and above. 14 kts is usually too strong for paragliders..

Landing: On beach in front of, or just north of the sand dunes.
Take all precautions to avoid people on the beach.
Easy landing, but you may have to land somewhat crosswind – a steep beach with powerful surf and undertow.
DO NOT LAND IN THE OCEAN HERE!!!
You may also land on Blind Beach between Goat Rock and Peaked Hill.

No top landings, except in emergencies (i.e. getting stuck at Peaked Hill in strong wind). You can land on top, north and east of the road at the southern end near Hwy 1. Beware sharp wind gradient/rotor if you do.

Season:  Typically January through May.  Many summer evenings work for paragliders..

Ratings:  
Sonoma Wings H4/P4 to open the site for new members and guests.
Experienced Sonoma Wings H3/P3 can fly on their own but can’t sponsor others.
Sonoma Wings H2/P2 with H4/P4 sponsor on the ground can fly the north end only.
Sonoma Wings members and guests only.
Signed waiver must be on file.
Sponsoring pilots must be H4/P4 rated Sonoma Wings members.

 

Flying:  Typical coastal soaring. Altitudes of 400ft over launch and 700 – 1000ft at Peaked Hill are common. Record is 3000ft in shear.

Cautions:  Windy cliff launch with strong rotors behind cliff edge.
Wiremen, usually more than one, are needed in soarable conditions.
Exercise caution when setting up; strong winds can create turbulent conditions in setup area.
When flying, be aware that winds may pick up quickly, and it can become blown out.  This is especially true for paragliders. Winds can increase with altitude quickly.
Beware getting stuck at Peaked Hill at the southern end by increasing winds.
Avoid the Goat Rock rotor turbulence downwind to the south.

Facilities:  Restrooms located in the lower parking lot.

Parking:  Parking lots at launch and on the beach at the LZ.

Enforcement:  You must have a current USHPA card in your possession, and a current Sonoma Wings card (or have a sponsor). Rangers and SW members will check these!

Radio Information: 147.495 MHz

Emergency: Cell phones typically do NOT work at Goat Rock. Drive a few miles south on Hwy 1 to find a signal.

Affiliation and Maintenance: Sonoma Wings has held the Special Event Permit since 1982.