Each month we highlight an airstrip with hopes that you will get out and enjoy these special places. This month, we’re featuring Pleasant Valley, Arizona, 24AZ, to emphasize the successful partnership the RAF has with Arizona Pilots Association, and the US Forest Service. 

Visitors to this airstrip can dry camp among the Tonto National Forest’s Chaparral and Pinyon-Juniper. The Pleasant Valley Ranger District includes many hiking trails with varied scenery and elevations. The nearby town of Young has restaurants, a museum and other attractions. Locals often provide transportation to and from the airstrip.

Airstrip improvements such as the improved picnic area, tables, and shades are thanks to the efforts of APA and RAF volunteers. A new windsock was provided by the Payson airport, installed with Paul Pitkin’s efforts saving the windsock pole, and other volunteers’ help. Funding has been provided by the Challenge Cost Share agreement between the USFS and the RAF, signed at the end of summer, 2023. The work is ongoing, and more improvements are scheduled throughout this three-year work plan including grading, mowing, and the installation of an informational kiosk. RAF Arizona Liaison and former APA Vice President Mark Spencer said, “Forest Service Region Three chose both Pleasant Valley and Grapevine airstrips for improvements using the Challenge Cost Share agreement, thanks to the work that the RAF has done in Washington, DC.” Spencer has been involved with each project, overseen by its respective District Ranger, and added, “It should be pointed out that the good rapport we earned with the former District Ranger of Pleasant Valley led to a burgeoning relationship with other districts on the Tonto, covering Grapevine and Red Creek airstrips.”

See Pleasant Valley’s noise abatement request and APA safety information here in the Airfield Guide.

Submitted December 28, 2023.
By Carmine Mowbray.

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