We rounded up some of the top-rated zip-lines in the West.
The West has many adventures awaiting anyone looking for an adrenaline boost. In addition to the La Jolla Zip Zoom in Southern California, the West has a number of scenic rides high above the tree tops.
Soaring Treetop Adventures
Take the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to what is billed as the longest zip-line course in the world. More than a mile and a half of cable on 27 different zip-lines whip you through rare old-growth Ponderosa forest for five hours, after which you can enjoy a four-course gourmet lunch with a view of the Animas River.
Tree to Tree
If you’ve only experienced the Willamette Valley on the ground in wineries, this aerial adventure will give you a new perspective. This family-oriented zip-line tour includes a trip across the 1,200-foot-long Super Zip. There’s an aerial obstacle course where you can challenge yourself with swaying bridges, tight ropes, and more zip-lines of varying difficulties.
Big Sky Resort Zipline Tour
Big Sky, Montana
First, the slower and lower: Take the 20-minute hike to the Nature Zip and enjoy Lone Mountain and the Spanish Peaks along the way; then strap in on one of three zip-lines for the 1.5-hour ride at heights that even the acrophobia-inclined can probably handle. For a longer (3-hour), higher, and wilder ride, take the 15-minute chairlift up to the Adventure Zip, where four lines — including a twin line that allows you to swoop down the mountain with a companion — furiously dispatch you 1,500 feet in a giddy blur of mountain, sky, and forest. We hear if you keep your eyes open, you might see moose and deer.
Yellowstone Zipline Adventure Park
This new hotspot styles itself after European zip-line parks and offers the country’s only self-navigating zip-lines — more than 1,000 feet on four different family-oriented lines — as well as a huge ropes course with 49 “challenge” elements as high as 50 feet above terra firma. When you’re back on the ground and looking for more adventure, you’re only three blocks from the west entrance of Yellowstone.
Park City, Utah
If a 500-foot vertical drop on the steepest zip-line in the world is too terrifying to consider, give the zip-line at Park City’s Olympic Park a pass. But if the idea of zipping parallel to the 120-meter Nordic jump from the 2002 Winter Games — possibly while elite ski athletes train next to you — gets your blood coursing, check out the XTREME. The tamer ULTRA offers a shorter but still thrilling ride.