Dinosaur is a famous flying site located in Colorado (USA) in Rocky Mountains. As described by 2014 Rocky Mountain Region Site Guide it is at approximately 8,000ft MSL, 2,000ft above the primary LZ. Launches face SW, S, and SE, normally launchable in almost any wind direction as cliff creates its own weather pattern, unless winds are strong. Primarily a thermal site with some ridge soaring opportunity, Dinosaur has great XC potential. Several competitions have been held here over the years. The terrain is open, with landable areas for going XC over the back. Oxygen is highly recommended. The primary LZ is located about 1 mile from the base of the mountain, called the Snake Pit. The “Corral LZ” is another mile further from ridge.
Dinosaur is on U.S. Highway 40, three miles east of the Colorado-Utah border, approximately midway between Denver and Salt Lake City. Pilots from anywhere in the U.S. can easily reach the area via the Interstate Highway System before transitioning to the major artery of U.S. 40. Pilots wishing to travel by air can fly into either Denver or Salt Lake City.
The area is high desert averaging 6,000’msl, punctuated with numerous peaks at approximately 8,000‘ and river valleys at 5,000‘.The terrain in the contest area varies from spectacular rocky cliffs to river valley pastures. There are expanses of level desert and various sized hills. Ranch and oilfield service roads form a network for easy pilot retrieval. Vegetation includes ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and aspen at the highest elevations and irrigated grassland and cottonwood trees at the lowest. In between are juniper, cedar and pinyon pine trees. For safe landing, open fields of desert grasses and sage brush are plentiful at all elevations. Wildlife is abundant, particularly soaring birds.
TOWN OF DINOSAUR
Located between the Dinosaur National Monument to the north and the Rangely oil basin to the south, the town’s prosperity fluctuates with the boom and bust cycles of the oil industry. Currently a bust cycle, the Town Council is seeking to diversify the community’s economy. Promotion of the area’s hang gliding potential, is a popular and important item on the Council’s agenda. Commercial services include two small motels, three restaurants (one with bar), two gas stations, a liquor store and a Loaf’n’Jug convenience store. There is also a library, post office and Colorado Tourism office. Wireless Internet is available in numerous locations. The nearby larger communities of Rangely, Colorado (18 miles) and Vernal, Utah (30 miles) offer the services of small cities, including municipal recreation centers, airports, hospitals, large supermarkets and a wide variety of restaurants and lodging.
While no one would be so foolish as to guarantee the weather for any hang gliding contest, we hope that the period scheduled for this meet will yield seven days of outstanding flying conditions. The desert area around Dinosaur is not affected by the high mountain weather which makes many mountain sites inconsistent. During the post-monsoon period of this meet, pilots can expect a weather pattern dominated by high pressure, with light westerly winds aloft and blue thermals/small cumulus. Climbs above 17,000’msl are normal.