I often hear "The Creek" used by pilot and ATC in the vicinity of Provo Municipal airport. I've been flying in this area for over 20 years, and I don't know what they are talking about. There are at least three rivers that empty into Utah lake in the vicinity of the airport, one of them is named "Hobble Creek", but it would seem presumptuous to assume that is the one that is meant.

I am interested to hear strategies for learning the locations of unpublished, but commonly used waypoints.

  • $\begingroup$ vfrmap.com/… Yup, hard to tell from a sectional what is being referred to. $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Oct 29, 2019 at 16:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Find a way to connect with local pilots and ask them $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 29, 2019 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ Deer Creek Reservoir maybe? $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Oct 29, 2019 at 17:00
  • $\begingroup$ Deer Creek is up Provo Canyon, with is usually used as a reporting point "Provo Canyon". Id guess you'd have to be at about 12kf or more to be heard from Deer Creek itself. $\endgroup$ Oct 29, 2019 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ Is the term "up the creek" or "without a paddle" ever used? $\endgroup$ Oct 29, 2019 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


Wait until the frequency isn't terribly busy on one of your flights, then just:

"Unfamiliar with Creek waypoint, Request clarification"

You can reasonably expect them to either explain the waypoint, or if they're busy, potentially give you a phone number or other contact info to try from the ground.

You can also call an Airport Manager (801-852-6715) for questions.

  • 22
    $\begingroup$ Its a cloudy day today, low traffic, so I called the tower on the phone. He seemed surprised when I mentioned that there were three rivers terminating in the lake within his airspace. We worked out that "the creek" is the Spanish Fork River which terminates on the south shore, roughly inline with an approach to runway 36. $\endgroup$ Oct 29, 2019 at 17:24

If you don't already have one, get a SLC Terminal Area Chart. Sometimes they will depict VFR reporting points that the Sectionals will not.

Also, airports themselves will publish local area course rules that contain points like this. Check with an FBO, flight school, or tower. And if not published anywhere, just ask as Abelenky suggested.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is a good Idea. This does appear to be an unpublished point, however. It does not appear on the SLC TAC. A search for "creek" in the SW chart supplement revealed nothing relevant. $\endgroup$ Oct 29, 2019 at 17:25

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