Lineup will provide extreme thrills for adults and easier obstacles for kids as young as 6

Eatonville, Wash. – Zip Wild is about to get a whole lot wilder – and more fun. And extra exciting for adults seeking an epic adrenaline rush as well as kids as young as 6 who want to climb and scramble over bridges and nets sized for them.

Three new adventure courses open at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park on Saturday to complement the popular zip line and obstacle challenge course that debuted July 14.

The complex of four courses, situated in Northwest Trek’s lush forest, now provides recreational opportunities for a wide range of ages and sizes, including kids as small as 3 feet, 3 inches tall.

Reservations are required and prices range from $19.95 to $59.95, in addition to general admission to Northwest Trek.

Each course contains sections of zip line separated by barriers that must be walked over, climbed or crawled over or clambered through. The challenges vary from course to course, but they include elements such as swinging log bridges; bridges consisting of slatted steps spaced about two feet apart; cargo nets; balance beams; and tight ropes.

No course is solely a harness-in-and-slide-along zip line; all require some mental toughness and physical agility. And all are amazingly fun and completely fulfilling.
Based on age, height and ability, adventure-seeking wildlife park visitors can pick from:
  • Super Kid [ages 6 and up, minimum height of 3 feet, 3 inches]: This is a relatively low-to-the-ground circuit with two sections of zip lines and nine challenges. The highest point on the course is 5.5 feet. 
  • Discovery [ages 8 and up, minimum height of 4 feet]: Greater challenges - higher into the trees, Discovery consists of two zip lines and 10 obstacles. It begins with a 14-foot-high climbing wall that must be scaled to get onto the course, which rises as high as 17.5 feet into the canopy. 
  • Adventure [ages 10 and up, minimum height 4 feet, 7 inches]: This zip line/challenge course, opened July 14, is already highly popular. It has a total of six “zips” or lengths of zip line, separated by an array of challenges that include cargo nets, swinging, slatted-step bridges and a tightrope. Zipliners must scale a 30-foot wall to get onto the course, which is 55 feet high at its tallest. That’s nearly as high as a six-story building.
  • Emotion, or Extreme [ages 18 and up, minimum height is 5 feet, 2 inches]: This is the big one. It combines all the elements of the Adventure course with two more zip lines, for a total of eight zips and 18obstacles. It soars to a height of 78 feet – think eight story building – and requires participants to climb up – and down – rope ladders that many people might find hair-raisingly high. Thrill seekers will find this course and its challenges both mentally and physically demanding as well as supremely fun.
In addition to the age and height restrictions, there is a 275-pound maximum weight limit for all courses. And children 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian along the way. Closed-toed shoes are required, dangling jewelry is not permitted, and long hair must be tied back. Long pants are recommended.

“We’re confident these new courses will add yet another dimension to the recreational opportunities at Northwest Trek,” said Donna Powell, the wildlife park’s business and administrative services manager. “In the eight weeks since the Adventure course opened in the Zip Wild complex, we’ve seen people of all ages zipping through the trees. We’ve witnessed Joint Base Lewis-McChord troops doing team-building while having fun. And we’ve watched children, parents and grandparents encouraging one another past the obstacles.”

Zip Wild and its four courses complement the rich recreational experience that has existed for years at Northwest Trek and provide a source of fun exercise for many people who might not otherwise come to the wildlife park, she added.

The complex is located amid and through towering Douglas firs, and there’s nothing like it in the Puget Sound area.

General admission to Northwest Trek is required, in addition to the cost of flying through the trees on the zip line/challenge course.

It’s a value-added situation, Powell explained.

People who come to ride the zip line and test their challenge course skills also can take the naturalist-guided tram tour through Northwest Trek’s free roaming area, where bison, Roosevelt elk, big horn sheep, caribou, moose and other large animals live. Paved walking paths lead to natural exhibits where visitors can see grizzly and black bears, coyotes, a cougar, beavers, river otters, bald eagles and other Northwest animals. And there are nature trails to stroll throughout the wildlife park.

If visitors want to watch the action on Zip Wild and listen to the thrumming of the wires as adventure seekers whiz by at up to 33 feet per second, they can do that, too.

More information and the reservations pages are Click on the Zip Wild slide at the top of the page.


Northwest Trek, accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, is a 725-acre zoological park dedicated to conservation, education and recreation by displaying, interpreting and researching native Northwest wildlife and their natural habitats. The wildlife park is a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma and is located 35 miles southeast of Tacoma off State Highway 161.