Big Thompson Mesa | Utah Back Country Pilots Association

Big Thompson Mesa

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Airstrip Info

Frequency 122.90
Elevation 5002 ft
Lat/Long 37.6888, -110.9138
37° 41.328' , -110° 54.828'
Runway 15/33 705 ft x 30 ft
Ownership BLM


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Information updated May 11, 2021 @ 3:41pm

Description: Once I read a comment about this being a good emergency landing spot. I would tend to agree as this once was a massive airstrip surrounded by flat mesa. In the distant past DC3’s where probably flown here to resupply smaller aircraft and trucks to support the mining operations. This airstrip is also as close to Capital Reef National Park as you can get. A short five minute walk and you will be overlooking the ridge formation to the west. Recently I took a very talkative family member here and he was left speechless for a least an hour. An amazing place you won’t forget.  No cell coverage.
Runway: A two-track road runs along the runway itself. The runway is split near the north end by the road headed to the overlook. Normally the runway is smooth enough for most aircraft types, however you may have to pick your line around some smaller shrubs that are scattered in the grassy areas especially towards the north. I tend to avoid landing on the road, but in some places the road would be an option if within your comfort level.
Approach Considerations: Wide open approaches for landing north or south.  It is advisable to alter patterns to avoid flight into Capital Reef National Park immediately to the west. 
Parking: Room for a full-size fly-in as there is no shortage of space. Same goes for camping, be aware that camping inside of the National Park requires a permit. The park boundary line is well marked on the road leading to the overlook. 
Cory Wolf
2 years ago in a C205 with 850s tires

We flew down to camp for a few nights. I opted to try landing on the south section that has the two track road. The road is firm and mostly smooth with only a couple of slight soft spots. The two track is a little more rutted at the north end of that section, with the worst part being the first 100-150’. Shortly beyond that there is a slight wash with some rocks, but nothing too bad. The middle of the two track is higher on the north end in that same section, but gradually becomes more even with the two track as you go farther south. This stretch gives you about 1100’ to work with. The area adjacent to the two track could be doable, just be aware that there are some swells and undulations in addition to a couple of patches of brush. The surface is fairly firm with the grass roots giving the ground some structure and substance. I’d agree with the other pirep that 850s is probably the minimum tire size, and prop clearance is a consideration if you land the road. You can see in the pics where the north section has been landed. I think if I come again I’d land up there despite the usable distance possible being shorter. I need to walk the north end and get a feel for how much length is really usable. It could be more than the 750ish feet listed. Beautiful place with great camping and hiking opportunities. Oh, and I left a bunch of firewood there for the next person since we didn’t get around to having a fire ourselves. It also is worth noting that there is a nice road not far away that could give you access to hiking as well. Possible places to pull off and camp too.

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Gary Hilley
3 years ago in a Super Cub with 31 tires

The strip is there somewhere under all the grass! Right next to the park boundary with a great view of the rock formation. Would be a nice spot to camp as long as its not too windy. I would say 8.50's min at this point.

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Brimhall Arch

Added by Cory Wolf 3 years ago

4.5 mile hike. Trail starts approx 2.5 miles from the airstrip

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