Chelan Butte

Chelan Butte, at the eastern tip of Lake Chelan in eastern Washington, is arguably the premier XC site in Washington. The Butte has a world-wide reputation for big air and long-distance potential during the summer season, and has been the location of several national and international paragliding and hang gliding competitions. Several hang glider pilots, on both flex and rigid wings, are members of the "Spud Club" – those who have flown into Idaho from Chelan. In spring and fall, flying conditions at the Butte are often quite mellow, drawing good crowds of hang glider and paraglider pilots to the Beach'N, Fly&Bike, and Women's Halloween fly-ins each year. The site is collaboratively managed by Chelan Flyers with help from members of CBCC and NWPC. Any pilot planning to fly Chelan Butte should refer to the Pilot Information page at for the official site protocol and pilot information.

Hang-Glider1a Photo by Steve Hyink


Primary LZs are "Junkyard"  and the large grass field by the pavilion to the south of the Chelan Falls Soccer field. Check to see if the Pavilion is scheduled for public use BEFORE using the LZ. During scheduled use, this LZ is for EMERGENCY USE ONLY


USHPA membership required. Intermediate/H-3, recommend turbulence and flat-slope launch sign-offs. Must have parachute and helmet.Contacts:  Any questions, please call

Tom Johns 425-941-9836 or Lori Lawson 425-681-2458.


Flying Season: Spring, Fall, Summer

Access: 2WD is usually okay, very treacherous after rain, 20 minutes to top.

Launch Elevation: About 3700 MSL

Type: Slopes of varying steepness

Obstructions: Rocks on either side of S point

Faces: E (Ants in the Pants), S (Between the Rocks, and on the slope below the towers), SW (Green Monster), W (Lakeside), N (Sunnyside, on the ridge below the towers)

Notes: Beware of dust devils!!

Soarable: Yes, R/T

LZ Elevation: 1100 MSL (Junkyard LZ), 760' MSL (Chelan Falls soccer field LZ)

Type: Grassy field

Obstructions: Power lines N & E in Junkyard, trees in soccer field

Notes: Very thermally!! Expect turbulence when landing midday; do not land in mature crops (gold fields) or orchards, or on the "three fingers" on the lake shore.

Moses Lake MM5 Soundings  1pm 4pm
Wentachee MM5 Soundings  1pm 4pm
Google Earth .KMZ file

Additional Notes: Launch is owned by DNR; all vehicles driving to launch MUST carry a shovel and minimum 10BC fire extinguisher. No smoking on launch. Ridge soaring is possible early mornings and evenings, otherwise this is a big thermal site. LZ is not visible from launch. Major XC site, location of '85, '86 & '95 U.S. Nationals and '94 Women's World Meet. Also home to the annual Chelan XC Classic.

Chelan Butte Site Records

FW Howard Osterland 154 Miles
PG Mark Telep 120.2 Miles
RW Larry Jorgenson 185 Miles


FW Flex wing hang glider
RW Rigid wing hang glider
PG Paraglider

Chelan Butte Donation Information

Chelan Butte is a self-funded site. It continues to be available for both Hang Gliding and Paragliding flights through generous contributions from pilots who fly there – both local and visiting pilots. Fund-raising meets are one way to donate. Another way is simply through the CBCC website via Paypal using the “donate” button. Another way is to send in a personal check to CBCC via snail mail at the Club’s post office box. Please mark on your check, “Chelan Butte Fund”.

PO Box 1825
Morton, WA  98356.

As far as what amount is appropriate, well that’s up to you. Perhaps if you fly there up to 10 flights a year, considers a donation amount of $10 per flight. If you fly more than 10 flights a year then perhaps $5 per flight would work.

Chelan Links