Written by: Adeline Yuboco
06/04/2013 09:00 AM
Riding on zip lines not only gives you an adrenaline rush, but also the chance to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature from a completely different angle. It's no surprise then that zip lining is fast becoming one of the most popular activities for RVers, campers, and adventure lovers.
If you're planning on riding a zip line during your next camping trip, here are our ten best zip lines across the US for you and your family to try, listed in order of State
Icy Strait Point (Alaska)
Spanning over 5,000 feet long with a vertical drop of over 1,000 feet, the Zip Rider is the largest zip line in the world, offering you remarkable sweeping views of Port Frederick and Icy Strait Point. That is, of course, if you're able to keep your eyes open during the entire ride, which lasts about a minute and a half.
The actual zip line adventure package costs around $130 per person, and begins with a bus ride that will take you pass the village of Hoonah on your way up the mountain with your driver serving as your tour guide. Once you arrive, you will take a short walk to the launching area where you get strapped on a special harness seat before taking off, six at a time.
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Arkansas Valley (Colorado)
Built within a 43-acre Gold Camp property, this zip line course offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Colorado mountains and Arkansas River. The area is also rich in mining and outlaw history, which is a sure delight if you enjoy learning about the history of a particular place.
Zip line tour packages here start at around $79 for adults and $69 for children. Because of its location, some tour companies like High Country Activities can even include a number of outdoor activities like white water rafting, rock climbing and rappelling.
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Kaanapali Zip line (Hawaii)
The Kaanapali zip line course located in the historic town of Lahaina consists of eight different zip lines of different lengths. The shortest one is about 350 feet while the longest is about 1,000 feet long.
Zip line tour packages here start at $149.95 per person exclusive of taxes and other fees, and gives you access to all eight zip lines. You can choose to go through one or all eight! Whichever you decide upon, you will be treated to sweeping views of West Maui and also glimpses of the islands of Lanai and Molokai.
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Zip Tamarack (Idaho)
Hailed as Idaho's original canopy zip line adventure, Zip Tamarack sends you down six different zip line courses spanning over 4,425 feet where you get to soar through lush forest canopies, and above the rivers, canyons, and meadows that make up Tamarack's incredible terrain.
What makes Zip Tamarack one of the top zip lines in the country is that it gives you a variety of experiences and environments as you go from one zip line course to another. Some of the zip lines here go through forests, making you feel rather sheltered and encapsulated while the others hurl you out in the open, allowing you to soar above the trees.
Complete zip line tours are offered daily in the morning and in the afternoon. Rates start at $99 per person. On top of going through eight different zip lines and two suspension bridges, you also get an experienced tour guide that will narrate to you the rich history of the area as well as in-depth information of the plants and animals native to the area.
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Berkshire East Zip Lines (Massachusetts)
When the snow gives way for the lush green forests of Mount Institute, Berkshire East becomes the home to the longest zip line in New England, and the sixth longest in the world. It has also been hailed as one of the most family-friendly zip lining destinations in the country.
There are three different zip line tours that you can choose from, depending on your level of experience. If you're a complete beginner, go for their Base Tour, which gives you access to four zip lines. For those with a bit more experience, opt for their Mountain Top Tour. Aside from enjoying incredible sweeping views of the valley, the tour also features two guided hikes, ski lift rides, and even dual zip lines where you can race with your family or friends to the bottom. And with zip lining tour rates starting at $30 per person, this is one of the best places to go zip lining if you're on a rather tight budget.
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ZipQuest (North Carolina)
If you've got a bit of experience zip lining, and are ready to take things to a whole new level, then this is the zip line destination for you.
Aside from their standard 2-hour zip line tour that takes you through eight zip lines separated from each other by 3 canopy sky bridges and 16 unique tree platforms, ZipQuest is one of the few zip lining destinations where you can take things up a notch by doing these at night with their Night Quest tour. The combination of the natural heightening of your senses at night along with the surprising beauty of the area guarantees this to be an adventure unlike any other.
For outdoor enthusiasts that are craving for a massive adrenaline rush, try the Swing Shot where you are catapulted more than 80 feet in the air as you glide across Carver's Creek.
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Hocking Hills Canopy Tours (Ohio)
Nestled along the foot hills of the Appalachia Mountains, Hocking Hills Canopy Tours prides itself as being the very first world-class zip line destination in the Midwest. Its network of 10 zip line cables and five adventure sky bridges give you breathtaking views of some of the most magnificent sceneries in the country.
Hocking Hills Canopy Tours is also home to the only dual Super Zip in the country. Spanning over a quarter mile long, the Super Zip takes you down the cable at speeds of up to 50mph. What makes this so special is that unlike other zip lines where you go down in a seating position, the Super Zip is equipped with a special harness that lets you glide down the zip line in a "super hero" position so you really feel like you're really flying.
On top of this, Hocking Hills Canopy Tours also got eight kid-friendly zip lines called the Dragonfly Zip Line Adventure, making this another ideal choice if you're planning to go zip lining on your next camping trip with the family.
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Cypress Valley Canopy Zip Lines, (Texas)
One of the very first zip line tours in the US, Cypress Valley Canopy Zip Lines is a family-run zip line destination situated within Texas Hill Country.
As its name suggests, this zip line tour takes you soaring above towering cypress trees with their five zip lines. There are also two sky bridges here that will take you from one launching platform to another.
At the end of your zip lining tour, which can last up to two hours, you can choose to enjoy a sumptuous picnic amidst the lush cypress forest or go swimming in their small private lake.
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Olympic Park's Xtreme ZipRider and Ultra ZipRider(Utah)
Utah's Olympic Park is home to not one, but two zip line facilities. The first is the Xtreme ZipRider. Unlike other zip line destinations where entire length of the course is broken down into separate zip line cables and sky bridges, the Xtreme ZipRider is one long zip line cable stretching 1,500 feet long with a vertical drop of 500 feet. This, combined with top speeds reaching up to 60mph, makes the Xtreme ZipRider the steepest and wildest zip line ride not just in the US, but in the world.
If your nerves are not ready to take on the Xtreme ZipRider, don't worry. The Olympic Park has got the Ultra ZipRider, which is shorter than the Xtreme ZipRider, stretching 750 feet.
Another thing that sets these apart from other zip line destinations is that they are opened all year round, so if you've been wishing of trying this during the winter time, this is the place to do just that.
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Gravity Zip Lines, (West Virginia)
Last, but certainly not the least, in our list of the 10 top zip lines in the US is the Gravity Zip Line located within the New River Gorge region in West Virginia.
This relatively new zip line is a mile long and lets you soar up to 200 feet above the ground, giving you unspoiled views of the landscape below as well as the many working strip mines within the area. You can choose to just try out the zip line course, or take one of their TreeTops Zip Line tour. This tour lasts for about three hours and gives you access to 10 zip lines and five sky bridges.
Cap off your adventure here by going white water rafting. There are a variety of whitewater rafting trips that cater to all experience levels that you can request to be incorporated with your zip line tour.
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