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 1500 ft x 20 ft
Dirt Road
Rwy 13 Uphill 0.4%
Ownership SITLA


See more at the National Weather Center

Information updated December 7, 2022 @ 9:42pm

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. Please be cognizant of the proximity to the park areas.

Runway:  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. Slight ruts in the middle of the runway on both ends but firm on either side.
Parking:  Parking 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
2 months ago in a ICP Savannah S with 21 tires

Stopped through again today. Rustlers is a great place. Nice canyons to hike to and overlook to the west and north.

3 Likes , 0 Comments

Marc Lassaux
2 months ago in a ICP Savannah S with 21 tires

Landed Rustlers today. Runway ok. A little soft but not bad.

1 Like , 0 Comments

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

Slightly overgrown in soft vegetation. The centerline of the strip is just east of the two track.

5 Likes , 0 Comments

Paul Barry
7 months ago in a Maule M-5 with 26" tires

Some spikey weeds have decided to grow on the airstrip. I pulled some out and they are fairly soft to roll over. Such a great spot! Hot and buggy though.

2 Likes , 0 Comments

Kyle Stone
11 months ago in a Glasair Sportsman (Trike) with 8.50 tires

I’ve been keeping an eye on this dirt strip for a while and this morning the weather was near perfect for my first attempt at landing this strip. It’s unique as it’s just on the edge of the Canyonlands Nationa Park. I’ve been practicing my slow flight skills and my approach was stabilized at around 50 kts and zero wind correction was needed. I landed northbound and kept the nose off the ground as long as possible…which was probably about 50 - 75’. I was able to stop in around 400’ without too much braking power. I explored the area and walked the runway to check for any major issues. The runway is pretty soft and there are ruts as this is also used as a 4x4 access road to the canyon. Cows have pocked up the runway a little but nothing too major. When I was ready to leave I took off southbound as the wind was picking up just a little. I found a couple of dips that I knew I wanted to be off the ground by so I made a mental note of where they were and decided to use the full flap technique to ensure I was flying by the mid-way point. The overall usable runway is around 1500’ but for the trike, I would say about 800 were usable. I applied full power and had 1 notch of flaps down then added full flaps after about 4 seconds (1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato…etc…I actually verbalize this to help me count down). I glanced down when I added full flaps and I was around 30 kts…then flying around 40 kts. I rotated the nose over a little and allowed my airspeed to increase to 65 kts then removed 1 notch of flaps and climbed to around 500 AGL then cleaned up the flaps and lowered to Vx. I estimate my take-off to be under 500 feet as I was flying well before a rock that I placed alongside the runway at my abort point (800’). What a hoot! The Sportsman continues to amaze me with the shortfield abilities. I would have to say that the take-off was pretty bumpy and somewhere along the way my front tire tagged the front fairing as I could see tire marks on the fairing that were not there after my landing.

3 Likes , 1 Comment

William Lipscomb

Great. Definitely a favorite

11 months ago
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