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“WOW! Finally got to soar like an eagle!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Mile High Gliding

Ranked #17 of 32 Tours in Boulder
Attraction details
Iowa
Level Contributor
220 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“WOW! Finally got to soar like an eagle!”
Reviewed June 5, 2013

I do not recall either of the guys who we had on our Sunday flight but both were very friendly and helpful. I've seen gliders prior and thought that would be something I should do. As we came to our Denver hotel I picked up the ad with the Mile High info. It wasn't until several days later I called to see how much notice was needed. Thankfully we could go the day we wanted even during the Memorial Day weekend, two days later! Two of us were able to go together, due to being under the 300lbs, and we choose the 40 min. flight option. Don't be turned away by the looks of the 'office' etc, they run a fine business. Neither of us had any motion sickness or other problems the whole time. It was a bit warm as we waited to take off, but in the air it felt fine.
So cool flying around just like a large bird and swooping down near the Flat Iron mtns seeing hikers and soaring over CU.
IF you are not sure about going....GO!! We are both over 45 and only I still love rollercoaster, BUT both of us enjoyed this new THRILL! No regrets. :-)

Visited May 2013
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3 Thank JGluvsMexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
600 reviews
164 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
“Mom-&-pop flight operations”
Reviewed March 27, 2013

The last time I experienced the skies in a soar plane was more than half my life ago in another state. Recalling the thrill and peace from that time, I bought the S.O. an individual gliding experience for his birthday with Mile High Gliding over a year ago. He enjoyed it so much that he got us a double ride with these guys yesterday to celebrate our engagement! Therefore, this was my 2nd time dealing with this small company.

Mile High Gliding is located on the north side of the runways of Boulder Airport. Drive too fast and you'll miss the run-down trailer that serves as their office. They have dirt parking right off Independence Rd. Walk into the trailer and you'll encounter a cramped space with a picnic table covered by magazines and flying paraphernalia. There probably was a bathroom stuffed somewhere inside the trailer, but I didn't look for it in this tiny "terminal," so I recommend that you should take care of business elsewhere before your appointment.

The girl checked us off on the calendar and apologized that they were running a bit behind (15 min) due to the frost that had built up overnight on the canopy. Our pilot Elliot walked us out to our glider so we could help him push it onto the tarmac while keeping its wings level. Our plane was older, and because it had the double seat in the back, it wasn't one of the high performance ones. The double seat is behind the pilot; if I remember correctly in the single seaters, it's opposite so the passenger gets to sit up front and even get to pull the tow cable release.

Luckily my fiancé (now) and I have small butts because this double seat was no larger than our single-seat couch: we were completely squashed in side by side! He had to put his left arm around me (awwww) for our shoulders to fit and align well inside the cockpit. Elliot showed us the air vent controls in case we got warm/cold, and then told us not to touch the brake or cable release handle.

The tow plane was an old thing that looks nothing like anything I've ever seen. But both aircraft gained plenty of lift very quickly and we took to the skies in no time. The plane dragged us northwest.

And oh, my love of flying returned! Commercial jets have taken the romance out of the experience, but in a soar plane without any engines, the pilot is in absolute control to find the best thermals, to determine which direction to go, and even what tricks to perform if he so desired. On my first flight many years ago, the pilot helped me experience vertical Figure 8s and plenty of barrel rolls in the sky.

Though no barrel rolls happened that October morning in our 3-seater, we were still able to request what we wanted to see. My fiancé had paid for the Extended 1 hour flight, which took us over the foothills, Nederland, and towards the Indian Peaks and Longs Peak. The flight wasn't as quiet as I remembered (I think these 3-seaters aren't as aerodynamic as the high performance gliders), but it was the same gentle floating sensation as we drifted towards the Continental Divide. These views of the Rockies were from a perspective I never envisioned. Our pilot said, "I have the best job in the world!" and I couldn't disagree. Though it had been a cold morning and we were wearing down jackets, the tiny cockpit warmed up enough from the bright sunshine (I wish I had worn sunscreen), but we didn't need to open the air vents much either.

We soared back north along the jagged spine of the Flatirons (and pretty close, I should say!), the CU campus and stadium, and downtown Boulder. Overall great conditions for soaring except for the fact that at this time of year, there aren't many thermals to catch. I did feel a little short-changed, though, as we hadn't been in the air for quite 1 hour. Still, the scenery was beautiful and the smooth sense of peace was astounding.

These guys are disorganized, but they want to share this experience with you and are passionate about it. The do sell Gift Certificates. Great for all ages!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank aerofaze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Forget the flight instruction here”
Reviewed September 23, 2012

We (two pilots) started with the Introductory Lesson Package. While fun, we were BOTH finished in just under 3 hours (supposed to be 2 hours per person, but they had us share the instructor). We scheduled additional training for 2 days later, with two instructors, as we had a time restriction and needed to fly at the same time. We arrived at 8:50 for our 9:00 appointment. One instructor arrived at 9:20..... there was only one instructor, and the schedule had been changed, without contacting us, so that we were supposed to fly consecutively (which we couldn't do because of our time constraints). Not sure what we actually were charged, as my friend wouldn't tell me. The instructor was pretty good, but the business was cluttered and disorganized. I wouldn't recommend them or return to this business for glider instruction.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank aksam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“The Best Scenery Of All”
Reviewed March 22, 2011

Mile High Gliding is wonderful!! We have signed up friends & family for tours ages 7 to 89 and they ALL had a marvelous time. Staff is very knowledgeable, courteous, and safety oriented. On one occasion one of our rides got canceled because of high winds. It's easy to forget that wind conditions can vary drastically between what's happening on the ground, and what's blowing in off the mountains. It's not disorganization, it's keeping your safety and the pilot's safety at the highest priority. These guys are experienced professionals.

Helpful?
4 Thank PathWise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, MO
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A wonderful experience!”
Reviewed October 23, 2010

This was a total blast. Save youself the 11 year stint I did in the Air Force and just spend a couple hundred here. The views were spectacular over the mountains, and out pilot was really good. It honestly might not be for the faint of heart, heading out over the mountains in a glider, but if you have some guts and are looking for something fun to do while in Boulder, this would be it!

Helpful?
1 Thank ardave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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