For those of us who seek out outdoor activities like hiking, paddleboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, trail running, mountain biking, and others, Washington offers endless possibilities in truly breathtaking landscapes. These types of activities ground us to the Earth (or water). Have you ever thought about connecting with nature from above? And no, not from a plane.
Soar alongside the eagles with Seattle Paragliding! Just 30 minutes from Seattle, you’ll find yourself preached on top of Poo Poo Point to take flight and experience your favorite scenery from a bird’s eye view.
Orient Yourself at Orientation
What makes Seattle Paragliding special is they’re the only full-time school at Tiger Mountain with on-site facilities that include the training hill, school at the landing zone, classroom, and equipment loft in a barn. Their grounds have a lot to explore while you’re waiting for your time slot orientation group — an awesome treehouse, private parking, bonfire, hammocks, restrooms, and a deck overlooking the grassy fields.
Before your flight, the instructors at Seattle Paragliding will walk you through a brief orientation at the equipment loft so that you feel safe and cared for taking off, flying in the sky, and landing. In the barn, they’ll have you sit in the harness simulators to learn how to adjust yourself mid-flight for comfort, and watch takeoff and landing video examples so you’ll know exactly what to expect. The team also kindly offered my group some dramamine in case any of us experienced motion sickness.
Their team has instructed the most students and flown the most tandems in the local area. They’ve flown passengers ages 5 to 94 years young, and humans aren’t the only species they’ve flown — you can bring your pup!
The Sky's the Limit
Once you reach the launch site, you’ll meet up with your instructor, get acquainted, and surrender to the adventure you’re about to embark on! Your instructor will get you buckled up, helmeted, and eventually, strapped in. Then the moment you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived… takeoff!
The famous sentiment, “the sky’s the limit,” will feel surreal to you once you’re in the air. Make sure you take a moment to center yourself as best as you can during this novel sensation so that you can soak up the entirety of the experience.
Hike Before Your Flight
After your orientation, you have a choice for how you get up the mountain — you can either hike up to Poo Poo Point (about 1,800 feet of elevation) or take the 25 minute shuttle ride up to the launch site, which is provided by Seattle Paragliding for $20 per person. The ascent is challenging but don’t forget, you won’t need to make the descent.
My husband decided to hike up alongside me with our dog to see me off!
During flight, you’re one with the birds, stars, sun, and moon for roughly 20-25 minutes depending on weather conditions. Your instructor will point out beautiful landmarks like Mount Rainer, Downtown Bellevue, Downtown Seattle, and maybe even Mount Si. And if you’re lucky enough, your instructor will show off and do some tricks!
Back on Earth
Shortly before coming into contact with the ground, your instructor will go over how to position your legs for the smoothest landing possible. Within seconds, you’re back on Earth and standing up straight. You’ll unbuckle, de-helmet, and walk back to Seattle Paragliding grounds to watch the highlights of your flight.
Your tandem instructor recorded your in-flight experience with a GoPro and you can optionally purchase this video for $50. I highly recommend purchasing so you can relive this wonderful experience over and over again before you book your next flight!