Posted: 3/29/2010 08:52:55
I am planning a flight to Billings, Montana in my Grumman Tiger this spring and am wondering about flying northeast out of Provo, Utah. What would be the best route and altitude. I am considering climbing to 11,500 and going up Provo Canyon to get "over the top". I would really appreciate any insight or suggestions.
Posted: 4/1/2010 21:11:27
Winds will be critical for that route. Out of the west they can help you climb in the upslope draft but on the other side you will be subject to the downdraft and turbulence. My favorite route to KBIL from KSLC is north to Dillon and Bozeman then east to Billings. You may also deviate further east over West Yellowstone and up the Paradise valley to Livingston and then east if weather permits. Beautiful mountains along the route but valley floors under you most of the way..
PS: If you don't want to go north up the SLC valley, consider further west of the Oucher mountains by Tooele. Not much extra distance and lots less complex airspace and traffic. Inexpensive fuel in souther Idaho (American Falls) too, relative to Wyoming. In Billings area, Laurel (6S8) is very small plane friendly with much cheaper prices than Billings.
Posted: 4/2/2010 22:44:43
Thank you very much for your post! That is exactly what I was hoping to learn. After taking a quick look at your suggested route, that is the way I'll go. Thanks again.
Posted: 4/3/2010 11:41:14
I live in Grand Rapids now but will be visiting in Billings and Spanish Fork late this month and I plan the western route in reverse. Heading home I'm pretty much stuck with straight east but climbing high and staying there with a jog northeast at about Vernal. We'll see.
Posted: 4/4/2010 19:45:16
I'd just fly the I-15 corridor northbound perhaps stopping in Driggs, ID for breakfast or lunch. Else just continue up past Henry's Lake over the Madison river toward Bozeman then turn east to Billings.
Note flight following is spotty in the region unless you're at 13500 or higher.
Posted: 4/6/2010 15:34:34
I appreciate the tip. I notice on the sectional that just north of Henry's Lake there is a pass named Raynolds pass. How narrow and what is a good altitude to go through the pass?
Posted: 4/6/2010 19:25:03
At 8500 msl, it will seem more like like a wide saddle than a pass opening up into a broad river valley. Stay up there because the terrain rises again at the north end of that valley before you break out south of Three Forks. Where, btw, they hold the annual Montana Antique Airplane Association fly-in every August.