Just west of Beaver Creek and Vail is one “the World’s Coolest Ziplines” according to Travel & Leisure and CNN Travel, and Outside Magazine says “you’ll feel like Evel Knievel, minus the potential for broken bones.” Excited yet?
Ziplines are fun no matter where they are located, but there’s something crazy about zig-zagging back and forth across a canyon to get your adrenaline rushing. And the good news is, this zipline goes from the ground to the ground, so it is suitable for guests of all ages. Honestly, it’s normally the 5 year olds and grandma who launch themselves off the start pad…
For all the excitement, this is also the Vail Valley, so you won’t find yourself hand braking here! Your two guides will do all the work (except you’ll have to walk along the gorgeous canyon between the zips yourself!), give you water and snacks, and catch you at the end of every zipline to make this the luxurious experience expected of the Vail Valley. With character and occasional silly jokes, of course.
There’s also an awesome canyon jump, where you can free fall off the side of the canyon before your harness catches you and you’re belayed gently to the ground. It’s SUCH a rush!
If you are taking a day trip up to Leadville, there’s also a beautiful treetop zipline just outside of town, with beautiful views of Colorado’s tallest peaks. It’s a great way to add adventure to the day, and if you go at the right time of year, you can combine it with a train ride, too!
Based out of 4 Eagle Ranch, only 15-25 minutes from most places in the Vail Valley. Zip back and forth across Alkaline Canyon like Evel Knievel!
Located just outside of Leadville, zip platform to platform with views of Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, or do a Zip and Rails combination.
For your zipline tour, make sure you give yourself plenty of time before you arrive to check in, get fitted with your zipping gear (including harness & helmet) and for your safety talk. Colorado weather can be tricky to predict, and since this activity books up quickly, take advantage of the afternoon thunderstorm trend and try to go before lunch. When it doesn’t rain in the afternoons, the weather can get a bit warm so when you are checking, make sure you are checking the weather for the right town–Wolcott for Zip Adventures or Leadville for Top of the Rockies. Their weather can be drastically different than if you check for Vail due to elevation and environment. It’s amazing how different the ecosystems are within the Rocky Mountains, even within 20 miles difference.
Each company, be it the two I recommend or an additional one you find and research on your own, has their own cancellation policy. Make sure you are aware of this–they will tell you before you book, and it will also be on your confirmation email. Cancellation policies in the Rockies are very strict and you may not be able to get a refund within their cancellation policy. If you are travelling with multiple families, check and see if you can pay separately the day of your tour or if you need to provide multiple credit cards at the time of booking.
Don’t forget to tip your guide if you had a great time! I suggest 18-25%, or you can do $15-30 per person. Your guides will be very appreciative!
DO NOT BRING YOUR VALUABLES ON THE TOUR! Whatever you must bring with you, make certain it can be secured in a zippered pocket.
WHAT DO I WEAR?
Closed toe shoes are a must, you don’t want to be losing your shoe in the middle of ziplining and have it fall down a 1,000ft canyon, would you? Make sure your clothing is comfortable, and keep in mind the weather conditions can change so a light jacket is always a good idea. Sunscreen is always important, as I’m sure you can figure out by now, and make sure your clothing has pockets with zippers if you need to bring anything with you. It’s always best for your camera to have a strap, just in case!
If your hair is shoulder-length or longer, bring a hair tie to pull it back away from the zipline. You’ll be given a helmet, harness, and all your zipline gear.