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Golden - Lookout

Popular drive-up site for advanced pilots.


Min Rating:

RMHPA - Lookout

158.400 DCS 23

P4/H4* Sponsorship

Lookout is primarily a thermal site with little ridge soaring opportunity. Mornings are mostly calm, suitable for sponsoring new pilots. Midday finds strong thermal activity with frequent thunderstorms from May-August. Evenings occasionally glass off. Flying is possible year round and huge XC flights start here regularly.

Soaring and landing conditions are poor with wind SE wind. CAUTION: Do not fly Lookout in strong SE wind or anytime the wind is S or W. These represent critically dangerous flying situations.

Lookout is the only remaining flying site on the Front Range that offers convenient drive-up access to launches. Respect the guidelines below.

Golden - Lookout is one of the sites where RMHPA works closely with the land owner, which is the only way we can fly here. RMHPA membership is required - do your part!

All pilots are required to have a site briefing and those less than P4/H4 are required to participate in the Lookout Sponsorship Program.


North Launch faces NE and favors NE through E wind. A N crosswind may produce terrain induced turbulence just after takeoff. Light SE wind is discouraged due to terrain induced turbulence from the spine just S of launch. HG tie downs are available. 

South Launch is a gently sloping grassy field at the top of a wide bowl. This launch favors NE through E wind, or light SE wind.


The Main LZ is surrounded and filled with serious hazards and can be poppy and turbulent. A site intro is critical.

The South LZ slopes down to the east, so a crosswind landing is recommended. In S wind, this LZ can be safer than the Main LZ.

Launch and Landing Map

Site Requirements

  1. You must be an USHPA & RMHPA member.

  2. Complete the Jeffco Waiver EVERY YEAR.

  3. Complete a site briefing (all pilots) & the Sponsorship Program (less than P4/H4).

We fly with permission of Colorado School of Mines and by the City of Golden. We are required to restrict flying at Lookout to qualified pilots. We’ll do everything we can to help qualified pilots enjoy this great flying site as much as we do!



  • "Nothing good ever happens on a strong south day." -Ancient Lookout Proverb

  • Ideal Wind Range: HG 3-12mph max 25. PG 3-10mph max 15. MW 3-15mph max 18.

  • Avoid flying close to the terrain. Lookout has much more turbulence near terrain compared to other sites and has a history of terrain induced incidents that can be avoided.

  • When you are below the second road crossing, you should head out to the LZ rather than scratching low looking for lift.

  • Avoid flying deep behind the hill. You can be pinned in the wind and blown over the back.

  • Monitor windsocks to understand changing wind conditions.

  • Avoid getting low in the South Bowl. It produces strong turbulence and is deadly in N conditions.

  • Avoid getting pinned in the wind low over Windy Gap.

  • Avoid flying in the venturi of Clear Creek Canyon. You can be pinned in the wind.

  • A Hang Glider wing generally obstructs the pilot's view of the sky above. Respect this when flying above Hang Gliders.

  • Hang Gliders can dive fast. If a paraglider thinks they may have a landing conflict with a hang glider, the paraglider should try to stay up, let the hang glider dive to land first.

  • Understand density altitude and how it affects launch and landing characteristics (HA endorsement required). 

  • Do not fly alone. 

  • USHPA Risk Assessment Worksheet


Main LZ Issues

  • Highway 93 with power lines and a large metal highway sign adjacent to the LZ.

  • Trees and homes on top of a mesa S of the LZ.

  • The deep ditch separating the larger east and smaller west landing areas.

  • Hang glider activity.


Main LZ Wind Considerations

  • E - Generally sinky due to down-sloping terrain. Come in high.

  • N - Generally lifty due to up-sloping terrain. Come in low.

  • S - Turbulent and sinky due to the terrain and houses S of the LZ. Come in high.

  • W - Uncommon. Sometimes pilots will land facing W late in the evening in light catabatic conditions.



  • Glide Ratio is 4:1

  • Lookout is normally thermic mid-day, the best miniwing flying occurs mornings and evenings when the thermals have subsided leaving smooth air.

  • You should be heading to the Main LZ prior to dropping below rock pile near the mountain's base.

  • Be aware of large ditch and trees prior to Main LZ.

  • Smallest recommended wing to make LZ: 12m.


Site Guides


Live Wind Usage

  • On your phone, open the link below and bookmark it or "Add to Home Screen".

  • It is optimized for use while in-flight and will auto-update frequently.

Live Winds

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