Bay Area urbanites are escaping to the forest to dangle from cable-thin ropes as they take death-defying, high-speed leaps into nothingness. And the scenery is pretty rockin’ too. From Wine Country to Gold Country, Tahoe to Santa Cruz, we’ve got a birds-eye view on the best ziplining adventures in Northern California.
Where: Occidental, CA
Why: If you’re thirsting for a buzz beyond liquid libations, savor the full-bodied, adrenaline-fueled fun of Sonoma Canopy Tours. Nestled deep in the redwoods of Wine Country, this Occidental zipline adventure is the quickest jaunt from SF to the California Coastal treetops. During a 2.5-hour guided tour, you’ll soar through eye-popping, panoramic forest views on seven ziplines (one over 800-feet long), cross two skybridges, climb a never-ending spiral tree-branch staircase, and rappel from an 80-foot redwood. Bonus: The guides are uber entertaining and do their best to distract you from the fact that you're white-knuckling a swaying Douglas-fir high above the forest floor.
Where: Kirkwood, CA
Why: As if you really need a reason to escape to Tahoe, zipping above the sun-basked ski slopes of Kirkwood Mountain while soaking in the killer Sierra Nevada vistas is not a shabby excuse. Thrill seekers will ATV ride it up the mountain and spend 2.5-hours flying at speeds up to 30mph from treehouse platform to platform. You’ll embrace aerial endurance as expert guides lead you across eight different zips (six during winter operations) and multiple suspension bridges. Optional zipping tours include breakfast, full moon, overnight, and an ever-popular "5pm Custom" available throughout the summer months.
Where: Vallecito, CA
Why: They don’t call this Northern California locale the “playground of the Sierras” for nothing. One small step off the 100-foot-high platform at Moaning Cavern and you’re zooming like a modern-day Tarzan across the Gold Country foothills. Race a fellow zipper on a 1500-foot long dual cable, go tandem-style, or brave it “Super Style” and fly horizontal above the land like Superman (sans tights and cape). Bonus: The park offers additional adrenaline-pumping activities like a 165-foot cave rappel and an ultra-challenging rock-climbing tower.
Where: Santa Cruz, CA
Why: Experience the awe-worthy Santa Cruz Mountains from the treetops of Redwood Canopy Tours’ forest-style roller coaster. The 2-hour scenically awesome zipline adventure includes six cables and two skybridges at heights up to 150-feet. Eco-knowledgeable guides share the history of the Santa Cruz redwoods while you share airspace with the soaring eagles. Bonus: Rent a GoPro Helmet Camera, capture the jaw-dropping experience, and relive the thrills…from the safety of your grounded couch.