Zipping Along

Zip-lines which originated back in the 1970’s have become increasingly popular and now can be found in all sorts of settings and all around the world.  There are zip-lines through jungles, across canyons, even down an Olympic ski jump!

Zip-lining is generally safe (accidents are rare).  There will be sturdy steel cables and some sort of harness.  Sometimes you have to climb up stairs or a ladder to a platform, other times you do a brief “hike” from the end of one line to the start of the next so some level of mobility is needed.  You don’t need a lot of upper body strength because you are not holding on, the harness is securely attached to the cable.  You “hold on” just to have something to do with your hands and sometimes to operate a brake to slow your arrival into the landing platform.  The company should provide a helmet and gloves (if they are needed).  Everyone requires closed-toe shoes.  No flip flops or loose footwear – they would come off!!!!  Be prepared to buy photos so calculate that cost into your activity budget.

Utah Olympic ParkIn the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah the “ride” is 1500 feet long and is said to be the “steepest in the world”.  It offers a 500 foot vertical drop at a top speed of 60 mph.  There are 4 cables side by side so several members of your party can “race”.


Known as the “birthplace of zip-line touring”, Costa Rica offers many choices of rides from rain forest canopy and waterfalls to beach settings.   Many other Central American countries also offer zip-line tours.  The cruise ship traffic to destinations in Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala all offer zip-line shore excursions.  Keep in mind that the more ships in port, the longer the wait can be for your ride.  


Many West Coast residents travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico more often than they do to the Caribbean or Yucatan Peninsula due to the ease of airline flights. While in Cabo, my husband and I went zip-lining with Wild Canyon Adventures.

Wildcanyon Adventures

They picked us up at our hotel in an air-conditioned van, the equipment was top notch and the ride was close to flying!  The steel cables (8 in all) stretch across a VAST desert canyon.   A few of the 8 “rides” we could do together as a couple, which was fun.

John & Sunny Zip Line in Cabo

It’s an easy walk between the launch platforms (sometimes uphill for short sections) and there are covered areas to wait out of the heat for your turn.  There is also cold water at these wait stations and plenty of staff to give all the help you need.


We particularly like this zip activity because of the span – the “Big Ocho”, line 8 is 2674 feet – yes, half a mile – 295 ft up in the air!!!

Planning a trip this summer?  Do a Google search for the combination of zip line and your city to see if there is a nearby zip line.  Read the online reviews and if you find one that looks fun, you can often get a discount if you book on line or print an on line coupon.

The great thing about zip lines is that you can do it over and over again in different locations and have different experiences.  The variety of terrain; through rain forests, over waterfalls, high up in the tree canopies, across vast canyons, over beautiful beaches or even down a competitive ski jump, each offer a unique, “adrenaline injected” adventure to your next vacation.


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One Response to “Zipping Along”

  1. George Walther Says:

    Great, and I’d add the Whistler BC zip. Highly educational as forestry experts explain flora and fauna. Not just a beautiful and adventuresome outing, an ecological experience, too.

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