When: February 4 and 12 from 8 am to noon

Where:     Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area

15501 East Arrow Highway
Irwindale, CA 91706
(626) 334-1065

It is recommended that you plan to come in the morning because we are not the only people at the launch and it can get busy.

The entrance to the Recreation Area is off Arrow Highway.  If you are going west on Arrow Highway coming from S. Irwindale Ave., you will turn right at Azusa Canyon Road.

Once you turn right, you will drive up and over the dam.  At the bottom of the dam you will pay $10 to enter and turn left.  Proceed down the road until you reach the launch site, which is indicated in the map below.  There will be a parking lot to the left of the road.


What to Bring: 

You will want to bring the first three items.  You should consider bringing the fourth item to make the day more enjoyable.

  1. Your preassembled rocket
  2. At least $10.  You will need $10 to get in to the Recreation Area.  If you would like to buy additional engines beyond those provided by the pack, you may buy them at the launch site.
  3. Water – The launch site is remote and while there are drinking fountains you can walk to, they are not convenient.
  4. Chairs – There is no place to sit so if you want one, you need to bring it.


  • Rocket
  • Completed SCRA flight card (2x)
  • Water
  • Chair(s)
  • Snack
  • Sunscreen
  • Backpack (to carry everything)


Before the launch, please do the following.

  1. Assemble your rocket.  Please use the glue specified in the instructions.  Before each launch, the staff check each rocket and this includes putting on fins.  If you use the wrong glue the fins may come off and you will not be able to launch.  One trick to keep your parachute from getting tangled is to put a fishing swivel between the elastic shock cord and the parachute.  This will allow the rocket and parachute to spin without getting tangled up.  This is optional, however, and the rocket will fly fine without it.
  2. Read the documents provided by the SCRA by clicking on these links: Launch Procedures and Safety Advisory.
  3. Fill out at least two Flight Cards before the launch.  You will need one flight card for every launch.  For Liability Insurance circle BSA.  For Launch Rod Diameter circle 1/8”. Click here to download a Flight Card.

YOU MUST HAVE A COMPLETED FLIGHT CARD TO LAUNCH YOUR ROCKET!  Please print out and complete both the top and bottom of the flight card and bring them with you to the launch site.

Day of the launch 

Your son will need to get a wrist band from the leader in charge.  This will give the child permission to launch.  You will get an engine, igniter, and cellulose wadding from the leader in charge.  Prepare the rocket for launch by putting in the cellulose wadding and then packing the parachute or streamer.  Take the prepared rocket and uninstalled engine to the safety officer who will check the engine and rocket.  The safety officer will then assign the rocket to a launch position.  You will then install the engine and place the rocket on the rod for the appropriate launch position and connect the wires to the igniter.  Once all the launch positions are assigned, the safety officer will clear the range and launch the rockets one by one.  You should then recover your rocket.

On the off chance that a rocket starts a fire, it is the responsibility of the rocket owner to extinguish the fire.  There is a fire extinguisher there for that purpose.

How do you prepare a rocket? 

There will be a demonstration at the launch site, but in case you miss it below is a brief introduction.  First, place in the fireproof cellulose wadding in the top of the rocket tub.  Second, blow the wadding to the bottom of the tube.  Third, prepare the recovery device, which is either a streamer or a parachute.  For a streamer roll it up and then roll the elastic shock cord around it.  For parachutes, fold the parachute in half four times so that it is a tall triangle.  Then fold the triangle in half and then roll it starting from the top.  Once the parachute is rolled up, roll the parachute strings around it and then the elastic shock cord.  Fourth, insert the recovery device and then the nose cone.  Fifth, fold the engine igniter in half and place the black tip in the nozzle at the bottom of the engine.  Insert the plastic tab that holds the igniter in place into the engine nozzle.  The rocket is now ready to be reviewed by the safety officer.

Click on the following links for more information:

Den Bike Ride

Launch Procedures

Safety Advisory

Flight Cards