Eat, Shop, Play, Stay: June 2018
Part 2 of 2
Icy Strait Point
There’s not a whole lot that needs to be said about the joys of ziplining—the rush of adrenaline when zipping along at sixty-five miles per hour while taking in Alaska’s stunning views simply can’t be beat. Ziplining is an exciting, one-of-a-kind experience for all ages and levels of experience.ziplining—the rush of adrenaline when zipping along at sixty-five miles per hour while taking in Alaska’s stunning views simply can’t be beat. Ziplining is an exciting, one-of-a-kind experience for all ages and levels of experience.
Denali Park Zipline
The Denali Park Zipline adventure begins with a three mile trail ride through the scenic Alaska wilderness. After gearing up, certified guides lead participants along six sky bridges and seven thrilling ziplines. The ziplines feature a built-in, hands-free breaking system, allowing guests to relax and take in views of the mountains, tundra, and boreal forest. The tour is approximately three hours long, and groups are maxed out with eight participants. The ziplines are at different heights, and the highest is fifty feet off the ground.
Denali Park Zipline began running zipline tours in 2016; the company states: “The zip tour is built so you can experience and enjoy the views without the worry of hand braking or getting stuck on the lines—let your guides do the work. The course is challenging in some aspects, but also inviting for first timers.”
Alaska Mountain Guides Adventures & Chilkat Guides
Locally-owned and -operated for twenty-five years, Alaska Mountain Guides Adventures & Chilkat Guides offers a variety of tours and adventures in Skagway and Haines, including a rock climbing, rappelling, and ziplining active tour. After climbing up and then rappelling down the smooth granite walls of the White Pass, guests then take a turn on five ziplines through a coastal, temperate rainforest.
Climbing routes range from easy to very challenging, so experience is not necessary for this adventure, and every climb culminates with views of the Skagway River, The White Pass and Yukon Route Railway, and surrounding wilderness. The company states, “Our double cable system has a hands-free, guide-controlled barking system which allows you to focus on having fun… As you zip from platform to platform, fellow participants cheer you on.”
Alaska Zipline Adventures
Juneau-based Alaska Zipline Adventures is owned and operated by locals Gin and Davy Anderson, “who are dedicated to providing a quality tour experience to their guests, creating a positive work environment for their staff and finding ways to give back to their community and hometown,” the company says. Alaska Zipline Adventures offers three zipline packages: Alpine Zipline Adventure, Zip & Glacier Combo Tour, and Group Adventures. The Alpine Zipline tour starts at the lodge at the Eaglecrest Ski Area in the Tongass National Forest. After a safety briefing and practice run, guests take off from and land on unique, fully-enclosed treehouse platforms where they can pause to take in the scenery and snap pictures. The tour also includes a suspension bridge and an opportunity to try out axe throwing.
Icy Strait Point
Located in Hoonah, Icy Strait Point lays claim to the world’s longest zipline ride: the ZipRider. The ZipRider is 5,485 feet long and boasts a vertical drop of 1,320 feet with an average grade of 25 percent. There are six cables side by side, and guests can reach maximum speeds of sixty-five miles per hour. On an average day the zipline sees 180 to 200 riders, but once accommodated 502 riders in one day.
The company states, “Unlike anything you've seen before, the ZipRider zipline ride at Icy Strait Point is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience… When the gates open, riders accelerate out and over a cliff and come as close to a pure flying experience as humanly possible. In front of you lies the panoramic view of Port Frederick and surrounding islands [and] racing 300 feet beneath you is the dense forest canopy… The typical ride takes 1.5 minutes and concludes on the beach at Icy Strait.”