Shaffer Meadows airstrip is located within the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area in northwestern Montana. It encompasses over 1.5 million acres of breathtaking scenery with tall pines, craggy cliffs and lush green meadows. It's only a short hike from the airstrip to the river where the fishing is epic and the views breathtaking. If you're looking for Elk, black bear, deer, Grizzlies and mountain goats, you'll find them here.
View looking Southwest makes the arrival and departure look deceivingly easy. There is sloping terrain with 85 foot trees on one end and 45' trees on the other. Despite the wonders of my 285HP turbo, the length of my departure ground roll was sufficient to cause that age old pilot ailment...the pucker factor. Yes, you can turn right and follow the canyon to gain altitude. But looking at the photo below, note that there is a mountain at the end and a potential downdraft from the wind that is passing over it. That downdraft will hit you right about at the end of the runway where the 42 foot tall trees are located. Heat and density altitude are critical factors here.