Utah’s Greatest Ziplines
Skimming above the treetops and across open water, down steep mountainsides, and over rugged desert landscapes, reaching heart-pounding speeds of up to 60 miles per hour: Ziplines might be the most thrilling way around to get up close and personal with Utah’s diverse outdoor landscapes. With options ranging from summertime rides accessed via ski lift to the longest over-water ride in the world, there’s sure to be one perfect for your next adventure.
Though they’ve surged in popularity in the last decade or so, ziplines have a centuries-long history. In nineteenth-century China and in the Australian outback, they were used to transport passengers and supplies across rivers and treacherous mountain gullies. More recently, they’ve become popular attractions in adventure destinations such as Costa Rica, Thailand, and New Zealand. But especially in countries where they’re poorly regulated, they’ve also been the sites of some tragic and highly-publicized accidents. Closer to home, professionally designed and maintained ziplines offer the chance for a thrill ride that’s challenging, yet still safe and sane.
Featuring 10 separate ziplines totalling over two miles in length, Zipline Utah’s Screaming Falcon Adventure tour is the granddaddy of local zipline options. You’ll skim above Deer Creek Reservoir’s Rainbow Bay on the world’s longest (3900 feet!) zipline over water. With seven aerial suspension bridges and up to 500 stairs, this course is not for the faint of heart. If the full tour doesn’t fit your schedule or budget, check out one of the more streamlined options (such as the $35, beginner-friendly “Out & Back”) instead.
Fly over a dramatic forest landscape with this tree-top canopy tour. Surrounded by panoramic views of Mt. Timp and the Provo River, this easy-to-access course is located just a few miles from the mouth of Provo Canyon. After your adrenaline-surging ride, cool down with a stand-up paddleboard session or saddle up to explore the area at a more leisurely horseback pace.
Live out your Olympic dreams vicariously with one of the Utah Olympic Park’s two zipline options. The Extreme Zipline, one of the steepest lines in the world, sends riders soaring from the K120 Nordic ski jump at speeds of up to 50 mph, while the Freestyle Zipline travels at a little more leisurely pace and is perfect for younger or less experienced riders.
Beginning with an off-road ride to the start of the line, a day at Raven’s Rim is packed with rugged adventure. Six ziplines soar over sandstone ridges and canyons, and a 100’ aerial suspension bridge makes a heart-pounding path between red rock fins. The final ride of the day, the 1300’ Home Run, carries you straight over the Slickrock Bike Trail.
Double up with a friend for the kid-friendly Flying Eagle, a two-person zipline that’s perfect for kids where riders sit side by side for the plunge down Park City Mountain. Or race a friend (or three) down the ZipRider, where you’ll reach speeds of up to 45 mph as you zoom above the ski runs at an average 23% grade. For a bigger thrill, head to the Canyons side and race a friend across a 2,111’ line spanning the canyon between Lookout Peak and Red Pine Lodge. Sheer drops and a steep grade make zipline this not for the height averse.
Play It Safe
A sprained ankle or concussion is a terrible way to end your zipline adventure. Maximize your fun while minimizing your chance of mishap with these few simple precautions.
Dress the Part.
Choose comfortable, safety-conscious clothing. Pick closed-toe sneakers or lightweight boots over flip-flops or sandals. Longer shorts or pants, plus shirts that can be tucked in, are most comfortable to wear under safety harnesses. Remove dangling jewelry and tuck in drawstrings.
Clip in Early.
Any time you’re on a zipline platform you should clip in, not just as you’re preparing for your turn. Many accidents occur when unsecured riders fall off a platform’s edge.
Know your Limits.
If you have a heart condition, back or neck injuries, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or are currently pregnant, medical professionals recommend against ziplining. Most courses also prohibit riders weighing under 50 or over 270 pounds.
Do your Homework.
Check on a course’s safety record before ziplining. Look for courses designed or inspected by the Association for Challenge Course Technology or Professional Ropes Course Association.