Site intro is required.
We will consider intro to a P2, but site is best for P3 and above. Please call 707-YOU-SOAR to request a site intro. We have committed to this procedure with City and Parks authorities. Site is not vetted for HG.
Flights are usually unlimited duration.
Land-out options plentiful between the primary ridge and Columbus Parkway.
Few options to top-land or side-hill land (unlike Channing)
Active piloting rqd.
Winds for flying BR are reliable March thru October. Dec-Jan less frequent flying – but surprisingly, once or twice a week we get a west breeze before sunset at upper (viagra) launch when not W or WNW, don’t fly Blue Rock. Channing-east is good on many winter days.
Spring flights are awesome.
Summer flying noon-4 is usually rowdy. Evenings are mostly OK.
Fall flights thru sunset – smooth and plenty of lift.
Launch low if blowing, stay low/out front & watch for mechanical turbulence.
Upper launch if mild to light, but even then we’ve seen whacks (partial collapse) as thermals mix.
Blowback risk is less than Channing in all winds
More turbulence and whacks than Channing.
Whacks noted when weather change is underway, for instance sea-breeze overtaking mid-day thermal.
Broader flying conditions. Hike to an upper launch when it seems calm at bottom. Or use lower launch if you feel sufficient breeze while on the trail up – pick a cycle – you’ll rise quickly after launch.
As the breeze dies or thermal conditions subside, more than 4 wings is a risk, since the over-ridge band of lift is limited: Locals > please LAND OUT and allow visitors to fly.
During season the north slope launch is most often used. This large side-slope has become popular for smooth launches in all air, and provides the best protection from sinking out since the long south-traverse (without turn) allows greatest chance to rise to ridge-top. This launch is typically in a slight cross-wind.
Caution – Lifting your wing at the top of this large slope risks a drag into a nasty rock formation. Lift your wing lower on the slope, kite until you’re comfortable.
This launch is also one of the only possible top-landings. However CAUTION – DON’T ATTEMPT TO LAND AT NORTH SLOPE LAUNCH unless you have strong side-hill landing skills. Make several passes before attempting to side-hill land – and always remember you can fly it out instead of land. (each pass try to get lower & eventually glide upslope close to the ground & slowing). A deep-flair landing attempt (fall 2009) resulted in stall and the worst-yet crash at BR (light-moderate smooth evening air).
Top launch at “viagra” in lightest airs. Just south of North launch, layout at hill-top. We’ve primarily used this launch Nov-Feb. The barbed wire fence in back is intimidating.
Forward launch in zero wind? From Viagra walk north 75 yds to the top of North slope for a good venue to layout & run.
LZ options are huge, we have yet to see significant turbulence or rotor. Site contacts can explain other landing options. Be aware sizeable rocks are hidden in the brush. Typical LZ is gravel lot of College parking but this means crossing Columbus parkway with sufficient height. Bailout LZ is along north-side of SJM road (this is usually a dirt-band due to vegetation control). Examine this LZ at left of SJM road during your walkup.
707-YOU-SOAR (707-968-7627) is updated with current conditions & predicted PG activity
Leave a message of any length (speak clearly) – you’ll be called back.
Joel McMinn 707-758-1078
Ron Lee 707-333-8308
Rob Black 707-853-6912
Ron Lee 707-333-8308
Rob Black 707-853-6912
Klaus Schlueter 415-425-7391
Directions & Access
I-80 to the north-most exit in Vallejo “Napa-37/Columbus Drive”
East on Columbus drive 1+ miles (ridge on left)
Do not park or turn-in to entry of St Johns Mine rd.
Park on right at Solano College (parking-kiosk $1)
WALK UP St Johns Mine Rd. Do not drive up SJM road for any reason.
While walking up SJM road, observe the walkup trail to low, mid and upper launches.
Top launch at “Viagra” in light airs
Do not cross the fence at ridge top.
Stay out of fenced area near SJM/Columbus. (protected frogs!)
SJM road is marked NO TRESPASSING etc. No worries, as it is actually public. Politely decline conversation with any hostile or authoritative local, inform them that your site-intro included all precautions and necessary observances.
Star-thistle gets nasty in July, however the trails to launches are OK.
Help us continue to open this site:
Entire territory west of the ridge-fence, both sides of SJM road, is Vallejo-owned property. We are in regular contact with Vallejo & Parks authorities, and there is no indication flying will be prohibited or restricted. BE COURTEOUS. PICKUP THE TRASH OF OTHERS. FOLLOW OUR SJM ROAD RULES. REMIND OTHER PILOTS. AVOID LOW LANDING APPROACHES OVER COLLEGE LOT.
Channing Hill (access to west and east) is 2 mi SE of Blue Rock (as the crow flies).
Driving: Continue east on Columbus Pkwy. Left at light where CVS pharmacy is on right. Uphill on Rose Drive past 3 stopsigns, left on Oxford, second left on Channing. Channing circle park on Right. Again – site intro recommended. Channing is known for BLOWBACK – launch low until you know! Good west and EAST faces (east-wind in winter).