Josh Kelson | Utah Back Country Pilots Association

Josh Kelson

UBCP Member

KSPK
Josh Kelson was at Happy Canyon
4 days ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Went down to Happy Canyon for an expedition to the Dirty Devil. About an 11 mile hike one way. While at the airstrip I rehabilitated about 50 feet of runway right at the west end. If someone goes down there and remembers to bring some orange or white paint...hit those cones on the end with a good spray! Also, please be aware of postholing...turning your aircraft on 1 tire. It makes a big hole that can set up and get firm. I fixed before we left. Runway is in good condition, same as always!

2 Likes , 0 Comments


Josh Kelson was at Split Mountain Air
1 week ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Stopped into Split Mountain on my way home from Arkansas. Right next to Dinosaur National Monument, it has some amazing scenery in the area. The strip is uphill to the north, and is good and firm. I landed to the south, downhill, but would recommend landing uphill. If a go around is needed, try to decide early as there is rising terrain. Shouldn't be an issue though as there is room for turns away from that terrain. Takeoff to the south downhill typically. Lots of neighbors around so stop in and stay a bit. Some old hangars to take a look at. Unfortunately I wasn't able to meet the owners but perhaps next time. I need to bring some transportation and make it into Dinosaur National Monument, which apparently is just 3 miles away!

1 Like , 2 Comments


Erik Middleton

Hey Josh, sorry we missed you. We do have a rental car available. Not asking much just enough to keep it running and insurance.

1 week ago
Josh Kelson

Great to know!

1 week ago
Josh Kelson was at Fremont Island Lower
1 month ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Replaced the windsock. Airstrip in good condition and perfect weather. No bugs.

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Josh Kelson was at Spiral Jetty
1 month ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Put up a brand new windsock here! UBCP work party. Strip is in good condition, just a two track road. Horses in the vicinity came to say hi.

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Josh Kelson was at Fremont Island Upper
1 month ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

John Clayton and I replaced the sock there. Sheared off two rusted bolts but luckily not the crucial ones. Greased the bolts and hinge in hopes of preventing further rust. Ran into some new friends (Shawn and Dave I think?…someone correct me) and Chris showed up too.

1 Like , 1 Comment


Preston Rich

Awesome! I'm glad to hear the socks are replaced.

1 month ago
Josh Kelson was at Mexican Mountain
1 month ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Seemed about the same as always. The dowstream end was firm. Upstream end had a few bumps on takeoff. The signage of the UBCP has come off the stand. Gary Hilley and I are working on getting it replaced. If you visit before I get down there to grab the sign, leave it be and I'll pick it up. There were more cow hoof holes than normal, and more cow pies (not many on the runway). The two trees on the upstream end...I wonder how long it will be until they impede the approach?

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Josh Kelson was at Happy Canyon
1 month ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Same as always. A bit bumpy on the east end, but overall it's in great shape. Work party scheduled here this spring. It was dry though which I wondered about because of the winter rains we've been getting in the state. Beautiful as ever!

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Josh Kelson was at Mineral Canyon
1 month ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

The runway has firmed up since I was last there in March 2023. Lots more cow poop and hoof holes though. CAUTION: look for cows on the airstrip. We landed and upon taxiing back noticed one bull right off the edge. I'd recommend a low pass to look for them and hopefully scare them away from the strip. Downstream end in good condition, upstream end still soft and sandy and has some a trench rut going through it.

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Josh Kelson was at Fremont Island Upper
7 months ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Some sunflowers growing on the north end parking up the hill. Windsock has fallen off the wire ring. Did not shut down and inspect the windsock but will either need a new sock or just zip ties maybe.

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Josh Kelson was at Smiley Creek
9 months ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Up in Idaho for the UBCP fly in. Runway is in great condition. The restaurant up there has altered their hours so call ahead to make sure they are open. Huckleberry shakes still abound and are still delicious though :)

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Josh Kelson was at Sage Brush Flat (Peter's Point)
11 months ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Looks like some ruts starting to form. No problem for bigger tires of course. Mind the tower on the northwest side of the runway. Lots of oil operations going on just off the strip so be mindful.

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Josh Kelson was at Sand Wash
11 months ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

No apparent change from previous reports. Mind the rocks and bumps. Slight side slope. Redtail uses this strip to drop off rafters.

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Josh Kelson was at Rock Creek
11 months ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

See Cory’s comments. Private airstrip and permission is required before landing. The place is in beautiful shape though!

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Josh Kelson was at McKay Flat
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Went out with Gary Hilley and drug about 1000 feet of the runway. By establishing use and showing reports to this strip, it will help our ability to have the county come in and grade the runway. We also put up a brand new windsock and windsock stand. Runway still has some bushes and clump grass in the runway, a few bumps, but the big stuff we took out by hand and with the drag. We think with a bit of time and another drag day and the strip will be pretty good. Ended up with about 1000 feet usable, with more room for emergency runout. BIG thanks to Gary and his family for coming out with the drag and tools and making this happen. Saw lots of cows and wild horses in the area, and lots of traffic going down to hidden splendor.

4 Likes , 1 Comment


Jim Covington

Thanks, guys!

1 year ago
Josh Kelson was at Blackburn Draw
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

I just overflew. Lots of bushes and small shrubery...I would exercise extreme caution if landing. Big tire only I would say at this point.

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Josh Kelson was at Horseshoe Canyon
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Small two track road. South end is pretty good with softer dirt. The north end has some big ruts that will cause damage. Plan to overfly and scope conditions and land on the south portion. I rolled tires to feel the dirt quality and it seemed softer but landable.

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Josh Kelson was at Mineral Canyon
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Big thanks to Gary Hilley for working on the parking area...it is fantastic! The majority of the runway is still very soft. From the downstream end where the road meets the runway, to about 150 feet before the first parking turnout, it is soft sand/dirt. The far down stream end is firm, but also has some sinkholes on the right side (looking upstream). After you pass the second parking turnout going upstream, it again becomes very soft...almost moon dust in some locations, and is more like a beach than a runway. The upstream area near the windsock there is a VERY large rut, and the dirt is sandy and soft. Could cause a lot of directional problems. I would exercise extreme caution for anything but large tires/bushwheels. There are firm spots, but they are 200-300 feet and in between large soft/sandy sections. Lots of pictures included.

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Josh Kelson was at Willow Springs
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Overflew. Lots of growth on the airstrip. I would deem unlandable without damage to the aircraft. Lots of brush and larger brush appearing. Horseshoe canyon airstrip is close by and could be an option if you want to visit the area.

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Josh Kelson was at Sweetwater Reef
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Overflew. Lots of bushes and growth. There is a fence crossing right through the middle of the strip. Would need some major work to re-open this strip...I would say unlandable by any aircraft without damage.

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Josh Kelson was at Spiral Jetty
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

In great condition. Few bushes right on the approach end but still leaves plenty of room to operate.

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Josh Kelson was at Fremont Island Upper
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Firm, dry, and in great condition. No bugs. Hopefully dead till spring.

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Josh Kelson was at Rustler Canyon
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Nice little spot and very scenic flight. Runway was in great condition. On a bit of the softer side but nice condition.

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Josh Kelson was at Gruver's Mesa
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Some fresh work done to widen the road. Nice little spot, runway condition is good. Will be back.

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Josh Kelson was at Simplot / Funky
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

A bit softer but recently graded and in good condition. Nice little place to camp, will be back.

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Josh Kelson was at Happy Canyon
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

A little bumpy in sections but firm surface.

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Josh Kelson was at Ibex / Tule Valley Hardpan
1 year ago in a C206

Windsock is back up! Took a quick trip to set it up. Hopefully it doesn’t get stolen or broken. I will be back down there early November to check on it.

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Josh Kelson was at Ibex / Tule Valley Hardpan
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

There was more water than I've seen there before. Much of the lakebed looked wet. I inspected with several fly overs and rolling of tires, as well as watching the motorcycles in the area. Landing in the recommended location just southwest of the island, the ground was firm. After getting out I walked miles of the lakebed and found most of it to be firm. I would steer clear of any standing water, staying well away from it. I walked right up to the waters edge and while the ground was still firm right up until the waterline, there was noticeable tackiness and mud 30-50 feet before the water (likely from receding water). As always, use caution. I recommend a pass or two just to double check as we may get more rains soon.

5 Likes , 1 Comment


Josh Kelson

I will be replacing the windsock in the coming weeks.

1 year ago
Josh Kelson was at Fremont Island Upper
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Bugs have calmed down considerably since I was there last a month ago. Increasing bugs in the afternoon but manageable. Airstrip is in great shape!

2 Likes , 0 Comments


Josh Kelson was at Antelope Mountain
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Trenches across the runway. Unsafe to land.

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Roy Evans II

We'll likely remove it since your report matches what we've thought was there on Google Earth. Thanks for the report!

1 year ago
Josh Kelson was at Ibex / Tule Valley Hardpan
1 year ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

IBEX is great, no standing water. Pulled the windsock down and took home for repair as the sock frame broke. Will repair and fly back out there to stand it back up. Was out there for the UBCP fly-in. Great event! Thanks for all those that out it on and Tyler for driving a grill down!

2 Likes , 1 Comment


Tyler Gleave

Great turnout - it was nice to see everyone again.

1 year ago
Josh Kelson was at Mexican Mountain
2 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Went down and worked on the runway smoothing out some of the soft ruts. Hoping a good rain will firm things up. Still a bit on the east end left to do.

1 Like , 0 Comments


Josh Kelson was at Fremont Island Upper
2 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Dry and in great shape. Remember there is a parking spot on the north end of the strip up the hill. Makes for a fun scoot up the hill!

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Josh Kelson was at Mexican Mountain
2 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Went down to try and fill the holes on the west end of the runway. Got a little done. Could use a quick work party if 5-10 people to fill those better and smooth out a few other sections. East end soft as others have mentioned for smaller tires.

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Josh Kelson was at Nordin Ranch
2 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

The strip is somewhat rough, 2 track atv/off-road trail. Did a low pass to check the winds and condition, scared a herd of deer so recommend a low pass (at any backcountry strip of course). Removed a big rock that was in the middle of the strip and a saw blade, and picked and tossed some smaller rocks too. walked the strip and it’s in decent shape, but rockier than a hidden splendor or something. Would recommend slightly bigger tires. 8.50 minimum. There were some campers nearby. Nice little spot for an overnight or a lunch break from StG. Uphill landing to the north, with a bit of rising terrain be aware. Did a downhill takeoff into lowering terrain.

2 Likes , 0 Comments


Josh Kelson was at McKay Flat
2 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Landed on the road to get boots on the strip. There are sections where a big tired cub would be okay, but the strip in general is pretty rough with a lot of hidden mounds, logs, rocks, that are not easily seen. The road is in spectacular shape though lol. I wonder if the county would consider grading this next time they grade the road. I would consider this airstrip closed to anything other than big tires. Also there was an Antelope heard near and cows.

2 Likes , 0 Comments


Josh Kelson was at Mexican Mountain
2 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Airstrip is a bit soft in some spots and trenches from wheels have formed. A rake and a few hours would flatten it out, and then the rains will settle it I think. Leaves are beautiful right now, probably soon on their way out. Also, the fire pit needs ashes buried. We should probably help make people aware that the should bury their ashes in this wilderness area.

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Josh Kelson was at Boulder / New Home Bench
2 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Take a good look before landing. South end is smoother than the north end and where the road crosses has some good bumps. North end has a rut pretty much right down the middle.

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Josh Kelson was at Fremont Island Upper
2 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Despite some recent rains, the strip was in great shape and firm. One of my favorite places to visit!

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Josh Kelson was at Locomotive Springs
2 years ago in a PA-18 with 31” tires

Went out to paint the arrow with Wendy. Arrow has a fresh coat and the runways are in great condition. A little lumpy, could use a quick drag to smooth everything out.

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Josh Kelson was at Ibex / Tule Valley Hardpan
3 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Hard pan and lots of area to land. Couple wet spots around but off in the corners. The place is dry!

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Josh Kelson was at Locomotive Springs
3 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Went out to check on the runway and parking area. A good dense rain will help everything to settle, but the runway is in good shape. I went out and scraped the arrow of the old paint in preparation for a weekend to get out there and paint it again. Windsock in great condition. The new parking area is amazing!

3 Likes , 0 Comments


Josh Kelson was at Locomotive Springs
3 years ago

Went out with UBCP work party and drug the runways and improved the parking area by removing the berm in between the north south runway and the parking area. A good rain, and the runways will be in superb shape, currently in great shape.

3 Likes , 0 Comments


Josh Kelson was at Locomotive Springs
3 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31 tires

Runways were firm and growth light. There were 5 of us that parked in the parking area and a 182 that also showed up after. The arrow needs to be painted again (next year). Runways are in Excellent condition still!

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Josh Kelson was at Angel Point
3 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Flew down with Roy to replace the windsock on our way to the UBCP fly-in.

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Josh Kelson was at Locomotive Springs
3 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Runway is still in great condition. No bugs today at all! Picked up a bit of trash and took it home.

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Josh Kelson was at Locomotive Springs
3 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Light growth. Was mowed by the UBCP a month ago and the runways are hard packed and great! Arrow is shedding paint, planning on heading back to paint in a few weeks with UBCP permission.

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Josh Kelson was at Locomotive Springs
3 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Runways where hard packed and in good shape. I was surprised by how much growth there is. There was a fire pit right in the middle of the parking area which I removed. Could use a mower or spray to kill the growth out there.

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Josh Kelson was at Hidden Splendor
3 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Went down with the UBCP work crew. Took out some growing vegetation on the runway, leveled a few spots and channeled runoff further away from the runway. Airstrip is in great shape. What an approach! Use caution and check the winds. Read the above and definitely overfly to evaluate the approach if you’ve never been.

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Josh Kelson was at Mexican Mountain
3 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 31” tires

Airstrip still in great shape. Lots of visitors today, nice to meet new people. 11 planes on the ground from various groups. Noticed a few other fire ring campsites that could use some ashes being scattered or buried. A project for the next time.

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Josh Kelson was at Mineral Canyon
4 years ago in a PA-18 with 31 tires

Runway is firm and wide. Upstream end has some roughness and slight trench. Use a bit of caution on that end. Downstream end is great, stopped for some pictures and a snack.

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Josh Kelson was at Mexican Mountain
4 years ago in a PA-18 with 31 tires

Firm runway and in great condition. Cattle have been everywhere putting some prints in. Caterpillars not out yet. Some cattle approached runway during morning flight out but were scared off. Repaired the fire ring and buried ashes.

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Josh Kelson was at Locomotive Springs
4 years ago in a PA-18 SuperCub with 8.50x10 tires

Just flew over, did not land. Windsock looked great. Runway had ice spots and looked mostly wet. Looks like spring will dry it out nicely. Sign was still there as well and in good shape.

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Josh Kelson was at Mineral Canyon
4 years ago in a Mercedes with 33” tires

Attended the work party with the UBCP. Took out some bumps towards the up-river end of the runway and drug it. Looks pretty good. Some soft dirt but not bad at all.

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