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Ranger Creek enables you to really enjoy the outdoors. Snuggled deep in the White River Valley, close to Mount Rainier, you marvel at the sheer cliffs and towering ridges that surround the airport. The airport is also surrounded by a Forest Service Campground. Nearby hiking trails lead to Suntop Lookout, the Crest Trail, and Mount Rainier National Park. Only a few hundred feet south of the airport is the glacial White River. Deer and elk are commonly seen on the airfield and in the surrounding forest. An extremely popular camping area, the airport has easy access from State Highway 410. Just a few miles southeast is the Crystal Mountain Resort, a favorite winter recreation area. the field is a favored location for fly-ins, military training exercises, search and rescue training, and glider operations.
The 2,875 foot asphalt runway makes the airport very popular. The 2650 foot field elevation combined with the surrounding terrain make summertime density altitude problems common. The gorgeous ridges and cliffs that provide such a spectacular view make Ranger Creek a good test of a pilot's mountain flying skills. It is not a place for the novice. The valley is relatively narrow and narrows significantly both to the north and south. Just north of the airfield the valley temporarily widens to the west, providing sufficient room for a gentle climbing turn. The camping areas are busy in the summer, and during the hunting seasons. Although heavily signed, the runway does get encroached on by pedestrians. Animals are common on the runway in the early morning and late evening. There are trees in both approaches. Turbulence and downdrafts are common over the river in the approach to runway 33. Overflight to check runway conditions, look for obstructions, and to make people on the ground aware of your presence is essential. Ranger Creek is generally open from June 1 to October 1. - Submitted by Jamie Renwick
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