When the state of Utah is mentioned, words like, “thrill,” “adrenaline,”, “extreme sports” or even, “skydiving,” don’t exactly come to mind. Given the stereotypical ideas that most have of the state, you’re probably surprised to hear that Utah has not one, but several skydiving sites, each with its own unique views to offer. Adrenaline junkies take heed; for the ultimate rush, there are few things that compare to throwing yourself out of a plane. Utah will allow you to do just that; and even give you the option of skydiving indoors. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or looking forward to your first jump, Utah skydiving will not disappoint.
Skydiving in Utah
Utah is well-known for its plethora of outdoor activities, and has a great climate that makes skydiving possible for much of the year. The state is also surrounded on all sides by mountains, which makes for an amazing aerial view.
Utah has 7 skydiving sites, and each offers something a little bit different. Every Utah jump location requires that your first jump be tandem. They also all offer aerial photos and videos as well as all the training that you need to make you feel safe and comfortable. For those interested in more than just a single jump, most sites offer classes to prepare you for assisted free falling. Once you’ve finished training and completed 25 jumps, you can obtain an ‘A’ license from the United States Parachute Association.
Safety is top priority for Utah skydiving centers, and Utah has an incredibly low accident and death rate.
Utah has several skydiving centers and each has its own share of benefits. We’ve included some highlights for the centers that seem to get the most attention.
Ogden Skydiving Center
Located near the otherwise forgotten old Ogden airport, Ogden Skydiving promises the ultimate experiences. Because of its location, this site offers nothing but the best views of the Utah valley. Ogden Skydiving Center is one site that offers classes to help you prepare for assisted free falls. This requires a specific curriculum, a private instructor, and five jumps during which you will learn different tips and techniques. This is an advanced program and often a student does not pass the jump on the first try. Unlike many other centers, the Ogden Skydiving Center offers a discounted rate when a re-jump is necessary.
This particular skydiving site is owned and operated by Paul Gray. Never heard of him? You’ll feel more than comfortable jumping along with him once you know that he is an FAA licensed pilot, a USPA (United States Parachute Association) certified instructor, has completed over 10,000 jumps, and even introduced skydiving to New Zealand. What more could you ask for in a skydiving instructor? The views while jumping over this site are absolutely amazing; you will be able to see amazing rock formations, the Colorado River, and even the world-famous Arches National Park!
Skydiving with Skydive Canyonlands begins with a 30 minute “ground school,” session. They walk you through basic safety, preparation, and technique. You’re then taken up in a Cessna-182 aircraft where you will jump, fly, fall, and land like a pro!
Skydive Moab opened their doors in 2003 and has since logged over 18,000 jumps. They boast the best over-canyon skydiving that you can find, and encourage you to, “Accept No Imitators!” when it comes to skydiving in Moab. This site is incredible because you are jumping right over Utah’s famous red rock formations and looking straight down into canyons.
In 2010, Skydive Moab was awarded the Cessna Best DropZone Award by Blue Skies Magazine. The publication ran a poll to its readers about dropzones in general, and Utah’s Skydive Moab came out on top!
This site may be one of the largest and best accommodating that the state has to offer. Located in the relatively unheard of town of Erda, close to the county owned airport, Skydive Utah has thought of everything when it comes to their skydivers.
While it is an easy location to access and find, it is a way out there, which means a lot of travel for skydivers. To make this easier, Skydive Utah has set up camping areas for divers to enjoy. This way you can kick back before and after a jump rather than getting back into your car for the long ride home. Not a fan of camping? There are also several hotels within a few miles of the site, and the staff at Skydive Utah has worked with them to offer their skydivers an excellent rate.
If you decide that one jump isn’t enough and you want to make skydiving a habit, Skydive Utah offers a seven-jump process to graduate. After your first tandem jump you are required to complete either a tandem 2 jump or a 10 minute session in the wind tunnel. After 5 more jumps you are a proud graduate, and that much closer to the 25 jump requirement to obtain your ‘A’ License.
This may be perhaps the most thrilling site; Skydive Zion gives you an aerial view of Zions National Park as you jump into the air and take in the panorama of a lifetime.
Skydive Zion also allows you a bit more freedom on your first jump. You are quickly briefed before you board the plane, but much of the training is done during your dive; just like when you are learning to drive a car. Your first jump is still always a tandem, but during your 45 second free fall you can attempt to do flips and rolls, and you are even allowed to pull your own ripcord. Many other skydiving locations give you almost no control during your first tandem dive; you are just along for the ride.
The highly experienced staff at Skydive Zion has maintained a 100% safety rate that they are incredibly proud of. This is truly incredible since the jumps at this location are from a higher altitude than most others. Another great advantage is that the tandem dives you complete at Skydive Zion are counted towards any training and certifications you may decide to acquire.
Requirements and Information
No matter where you decide to skydive in Utah, there are a few things that are standard.
- You must be in relatively good health and weigh no more than 220 pounds. Some sites only allow up to 200 pounds while others charge extra for up to 220 pounds.
- You will want to be sure to wear sneakers or other athletic shoes, and dress appropriately for the weather. The sites offer aerial photos and videos of your skydiving experience at an extra cost, but your own cameras, phones, and other accessories must remain on the ground when you jump.
- You can expect to pay an average of $200 to skydive in Utah, with additional costs for videos and other memorabilia. For most, skydiving is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget, so splurge a little and make sure you have pictures, videos, and whatever else you can get your hands on to document this experience and remember it for the rest of your life!