Cheyenne to Salt Lake City Route Advice

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Lndwarrior, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Line Up and Wait

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    Gary
    This is another part of my semi-circumnavigation trip for mid-May to mid June this year.

    Aircraft is light sport and VFR. My max altitude will be between 11K to 12K. (Yes, I know LS is limited to 10K, but also 2K above terrain....)

    This leg raises the greatest concerns of the whole month long flight. Especially the pass dropping into Salt Lake City. I plan to fly hwy 80 from Cheyenne to SLC, though NOT in a single leg. I will spend the night someplace closer to the big stuff to get an early start on the final leg to SLC.

    Some things I plan on doing:
    - being light as possible
    - crossing as early in the morning as possible
    - scrubbing the flight if the winds at the pass are 30 knots or greater
    - getting as high as possible
    - spending the night before at Fort Bridger or Rock Springs to be as close to the pass as early as possible.

    Any other sage advice?

    TIA,
    Gary
     
  2. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Make sure your camera is charged
     
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  3. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I would probably set a limit closer to 20 knots, or 25 knots max. The mechanical turbulence when the wind is flowing can be brutal, as can the lee side downdrafts.

    25 knots over the Divide is my personal limit in most circumstances, and I'm flying a fairly large twin. But then I am an old geezer with brittle bones, so I prefer to avoid a whole lotta shakin' goin' on. ;)
     
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  4. gdwinc

    gdwinc Filing Flight Plan

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    You have the right plan. Following I-80, the pass into the Salt Lake valley is only 7,100 feet so it's not ridiculously high like some of the Colorado passes. Your planned altitude of 11k-12k will be fine.
     
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  5. Jim Carpenter

    Jim Carpenter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You can also use Emigration Canyon, the canyon just one ridge north of Parley's (I-80). On the sectional/TAC charts, it comes out over the valley at VFR waypoint VPZOO. Either way, be vigilant with your traffic scan, both routes are somewhat narrow funnels for VFR traffic (not to imply that you're flying down inside a gorge, they're not that narrow.) One of the hard parts, you won't be able to get the SLC ATIS (digital from Foreflight might help), or contact approach, until just over the "lip" of the Wasatch, and very close to the Class B boundary. All do-able, and, flight following from Center might help, but, just a head's up. What time of year? I guess you didn't specify that you're spending a night in Cheyenne, but if so, the intermediate stop at RKS or FBR may not be necessary, depending on the day's weather, of course.
     
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  6. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Title made me ask "Why in the world would a turbo-prop need route advice?"
     
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  7. Wagondriver

    Wagondriver Pre-Flight

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    In a light sport, I would cut my max wind WAY down. 30kts would likely be unpleasant in something much larger, in a light sport downright terrifying.

    You are right to go first thing in the morning, but that doesn't always guarantee that the higher ground and passes will have low winds.
     
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  8. JohnAJohnson

    JohnAJohnson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Interesting thread, to me. I also plan to do this, albeit to Ogden, VFR in a Cardinal w/o oxygen. I had planned to follow 80 to Echo Lake, then follow 84 through Weber Canyon. But the mouth of Weber Canyon can get breezy - I've seen 70 knot winds flowing through it and it isn't that wide, and there is Hill AFB right as you come through it and OGD slightly to the north, requiring a big drop from your crossing altitude down to ~5500 feet pattern altitude. If going from Cheyenne to Ogden, is it better to stay with 80 and cut across, then let SL Approach vector you north to Ogden?
     
  9. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    Salt Lake pilot here. As long as the wx is great you won’t have any issues. If you are on FF there is a good chance you will be bumped off near EVW due to lack of radar coverage.

    If you follow I80 all the way in use Parleys Canyon as your reference call to approach (if flying into KSLC). You can also use the canyon just north of that, which is Emigration. Depending on your altitude you likely won’t be able to contact approach until relatively close to the mouth of whichever canyon you choose to enter the valley.

    You will want to start your descent as soon as comfortable as you have about 5000 feet to lose fairly quickly.

    If flying to U42 you don’t need approach and they won’t want to talk to you anyways. Just stay clear of the Bravo and head south along the east side of the valley until clear of the SFC part of the cake.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
     
  10. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    I wouldn’t use Weber either.

    One way is what you mentioned. Approach will just have you follow I15 northbound and most likely west around the Hill space.

    Another way if you want to bypass SL approach is to fly over the ridge east of BTF. When I was based out of there that’s what I would do. Terrain is around 9500 and the Bravo shelf is at 10,500. Then you descend down below 7,500 once over the ridge before continuing west to OGD. I have a YouTube video of what that looks like if you want the link.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
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  11. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    All great points. But just clarifying, in my experience FF is not an option below a given altitude from the east inbound. So buyer beware. Secondly, you aren’t necessarily “funneled” into either Parleys or Emigration. You are above and descending. You can be over one or the other or in between. Personally I prefer just north on the Emigration side. But honestly there’s not a ton of VFR traffic at any one time. Just grab wx when you can and then contact approach sooner than later.