A zip line is a cable traverse strung above the ground. Zipline companies let thrill-seekers strap securely onto the cables and then soar through the air at speeds up to 40 miles per hour, flying over the treetops and catching a unique view of Idaho’s scenery. The only thing propelling riders is momentum, so the tours are 100% eco-friendly.
Zip Idaho began offering zip line tours out of Horseshoe Bend, 23 miles north of Boise, in June, 2008. The tour consists of seven zip lines, ranging from 175 to 1,800 feet, spread throughout three diverse segments– the Red Tail Canopy, Wild Turkey and Double Trouble. The Red Tail Canopy Tour is a series of four shorter zip lines that take riders from tree stand to tree stand through the tops of the Ponderosa Pines.
Wild Turkey’s 1,700 foot-long “ground-based” line requires a running start then launches the rider from one ridge to another, zipping above a draw between the hills. The final section, Double Trouble, allows riders to challenge another member of their group to a race on a unique “dual line”, where two zip lines run parallel to each other about 100 feet off the ground. At about 40 milers per hour, this 1,800 foot zip line lasts nearly a minute.
Located at about 5,000 feet, the zip trail offers a great escape from the summer heat of the Idaho desert. Zip Idaho will be open through October and winter hours will be based on road access to the zip trail. There are no age limits, but participants must be between 80 and 275 pounds. Tours are $75 per person, with a 10% discount offered for groups of 15 or more. Licensed and trained guides accompany every outing.
At Tamarack Resort, visitors can ride eight different zip lines that suspended above forest, creeks and canyons. The tour starts at 170 feet with riders zipping from platform to platform suspended in pine trees. Individual line distances range between 250 – 800 feet long. A tour lasts three to four hours and covers all eight lines for $99. On the tour, zippers will experience 1,700 feet in elevation change over the total of 4,425 feet of lines. Guide to guest ratio is 2:8, providing for a personalized and safe tour.
At Trinity Pines Camp and Conference Center in Cascade, there is one zip line available as part of an overnight lodging, food and activity package. In addition to the zip line, there is a team building course that includes high and low rope course elements.
Zip line tours are popular throughout Southern and Central America, but few states have adopted the trend. Idaho remains on the forefront of recreation and leisure trends with the addition of this new recreational opportunity.