Home Archives 2011 July 5

Daily Archives: Jul 5, 2011

FlipKey's Wayne Dang, enjoying the Costa Rican CanopyLast summer we spent some time in Whistler, British Columbia. We hiked, we biked, we swam in the River of Golden Dreams. I thought we’d done it all… until I looked up. There, soaring through the treetops, squealing in delight, came a teenage girl on a zipline. Shortly after, and squealing just as loudly, came her grandmother. I’ve never been a fan of heights, but if they could do it, so could I! It didn’t work out to zipline on that trip, but I resolved to make it happen on an upcoming vacation, and since then have found what I think are a the top options for zipline adventures. Now I just need to choose one, and plan the rest of my vacation around it!

For those unfamiliar with ziplines, they are cables strung high between two platforms, spanning forest canopies, raging rivers, or dramatic canyons. Riders harness in and clip onto the cable, and with a little help from gravity, they zip from the high end of the cable to a platform at the lower end, at speeds determined by the change in elevation. Ziplining requires little coordination or skill – but plenty of nerve.

Best zipline to be surrounded by adrenaline: Whistler, British Columbia

Ziplines may be extreme adventure, but it seems downright sane when compared to other Whistler sports: all summer, downhill bikers hurl themselves down the trails and off six-foot drops, and all winter the best skiers and snowboarders push the limits of riding the snow. So it’s no coincidence that Whistler’s zipline tours have gone massive as well, with all-day tours down ten ziplines that span from mountain to mountain.

Best zipline to get eye-to-eye with a poisonous tree frog: Costa Rica

British Columbia’s forests are impressive, no doubt, but even the Pacific Northwest cannot compare to the biodiversity of a Costa Rican rainforest. Ziplining in Costa Rica is about more than just adrenaline – it’s a chance to experience the canopy ecosystem first-hand.

Best transportation to get to a zipline: Durango, Colorado

There’s only one way to get to the zipline in Durango—you’ve got to climb aboard the Durango-Silverton steam engine train, and ride the narrow-guage rails that haven’t changed in over a century. A huge variety of zipline tours and packages are available. Riding every zipline crossing this old Ponderosa forest would take days! Their latest addition has set up two parallel cables for zipline racing.

Best zipline to get sprayed by waterfall mist: Kauai, Hawaii

I know, I know… when on vacation in Hawaii it is really difficult to pull yourself away from the ocean! This zipline tour, however, is worth the effort of leaving the white sand behind for a day. Zipliners glide over tropical canopies broken up by misty waterfalls. Or, leave the harness behind to explore suspension bridges over natural swimming pools.