Fly Like an Eagle: Paragliding in Glenwood Springs
While you may not have been born with wings, you can still feel the freedom of flight with a tandem paragliding experience in Glenwood Springs.
Let your spirit and a certified paragliding pilot carry you high above the hot springs town. Just as magnificent raptors patrol the Roaring Fork Valley, you too can ride the summer thermals and glide along the rivers in Glenwood Springs. While paragliding is certainly a thrilling experience, it’s not just reserved for adrenaline junkies. In fact, tandem paragliding is safe, remarkably gentle and open to people of all ages.
According to the US Hang-gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA), paragliding is safe if you make it safe, and that’s just what outfitter Adventure Paragliding does. Its pilots have all reached the instructor level of proficiency which means they have spent hundreds of hours flying, launching from and landing on a variety of terrain; they are adept at reading weather patterns, as well as knowledgeable about risk management and what to do if an emergency were to arise.
Have No Fear
If paragliding is safe, why do most people feel so scared? Because it’s a long way down. Contrary to what most people think however, launching is more lift-off than drop-off. In Glenwood Springs, after thorough instruction in what to expect, tandem paragliding flights set sail from the summit of Red Mountain. A guest, together with the pilot, simply walks down an incline where the wind catches the paragliding sail and lifts the apparatus and its occupants up. For many people, it’s the exact opposite of what they are expecting. Instead of dropping down quickly, they are lifted up gently. Adventure Paragliding pilots know how to ascend thermal columns, often climbing to heights that exceed the 1,700-ft mountaintop. With flight times beginning as early as 6:30 a.m., the colorful sails are a regular morning-time sight in Glenwood Springs. As visitors get comfortable in the air, their fear morphs to awe and excitement as they take in views typically seen only by birds.
See & Soar
Even if you’ve been coming to Glenwood Springs your whole life, paragliding will give you a whole new perspective on the hot springs town. You’ve never seen it like this before. From the heights, witness unimpeded views of Mt. Sopris near Carbondale. The nearly 13,000-foot peak is often haloed by clouds adding to its breathtaking beauty. Visible to the east is Spring Valley, home to large cattle ranches and a habitat for the region’s deer and elk populations. The Roaring Fork River known for its Gold Medal fishing waters flows from the south. And, like a miniature village arranged on a carpet of green, the city of Glenwood Springs is arrayed below.
Tandem paragliding is an accessible, inclusive sport that welcomes people of many ages and abilities. Youngsters can fly with their parent’s permission, seniors are welcome too, as are people with mobility issues and physical disabilities. If you have special concerns, chat with Adventure Paragliding to go over specifics.
Cleared for Landing
Air-time lasts between 10 and 20 minutes, and most guests aren’t ready for the ride to end. When the time comes, however, your pilot will steer the paraglider to a large, open field where you’ll touch down on terra firma. For the smoothest landing, listen to your instructor. Typically, they will ask you to put your legs up and take care of the landing without any help from you.
For anyone who has wanted to feel free as a bird, it might be time to try tandem paragliding in Glenwood Springs.
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