Rustler Canyon | Utah Back Country Pilots Association

Rustler Canyon

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Airstrip Info

Frequency 122.90
Elevation 4669 ft
Lat/Long 38.2724, -109.7263
38° 16.344' , -109° 43.578'
Runway 13/31 2800 ft x 12 ft
Dirt Road
Rwy 13 Uphill 0.4%
Ownership SITLA


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Description: Sitting at the base of the Needles Overlook Rustler Canyon is one of the closest airstrips to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. An intense 4x4 trail named Lockhart Basin connects Moab to the Needles District and runs along the base of the canyon. The road passing through the airstrip heads out to Newberry Butte Overlook which is part of the Indian Creek Wilderness Study. A section of the Hayduke Trail which spans from Zion to Arches National Park can be accessed from here. In the evening the light on the cliffs can offer a spectacular photo opportunity.  

Runway: The runway is very narrow to the north and allows just enough width for Cub-type gear. Past the midpoint camping area to the south the runway is a little wider. Generally the winds are favorable here even if the surrounding areas are not. The runway orientation is well suited for the prevailing winds. Each end has a turn around that will accommodate most type aircraft. The ground is normally firm and smooth enough that high float tires are not required. 
Parking: Even with the narrowing runway multiple aircraft can park at the midpoint. The ground here is firm and flat and offers a good camping location. No cell phone coverage. 
Approach: Nothing over complicated here. This is shared use with a road and a good runway survey is prudent. 
Marc Lassaux
1 month ago in a ICP Savannah S with 8.00-6 tires

Landed at Rustler Canyon today. In good shape and no major change from recent previous reports. Beautiful area. Would be fun sometime to camp just to the northwest in the canyons.


Sam Patrick
2 months ago in a C185 with 29” tires

Usable runway is much wider than the description, however probably a bit shorter. Surface seems to have been dragged with something in the not so distant past, but has a lot of small bumps similar to brake bumps that form on dirt roads. Surface solid and in good condition.


Marc Lassaux
3 months ago in a ICP Savannah S with 8.00-6 tires tires

Runway and parking area in good shape. The recent rains have firmed it up some. Beautiful area.


Marc Lassaux
3 months ago in a ICP Savannah S with 8.00-6 tires

The SW edge of the runway seems a little smoother as opposed to the NE edge from vegetation clearing. Amazing spot. Would be fun to try to hike down to river which looks like it is about 4 miles.


William Lipscomb
3 months ago in a PA-18 with 31” tires

Runway is now about 25ft wide and 1300ft long. The surface still fairly rough from clearing vegetation. With a proficient pilot most backcountry type aircraft should be able to land here. The north end of the strip is somewhat less rough. Enjoy this great place.


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