EATONVILLE, Wash. Zip Wild, the Northwests premier complex of zip line/challenge courses, opens May 4 at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park with new adventures for ages 6 through adult.
Its the only place in the Northwest where visitors can zoom down a zip line, clamber through a fishermens net and walk a tightrope and then later hop aboard a tram through a 435-acre reserve teeming with bison, elk, deer, moose, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and other animals.
And in 2013, there is quadruple the adventure, quadruple the fun.
Zip Wild opened last summer with just one course. Now there are four.
They range from one sized just for kids to a monstrous, mega-thrill circuit open only to adults.
And they are far more than zip lines, though there is lots of zooming along to be done. Each course contains a series of aerial obstacles, or challenges, that test participants physical agility and mental toughness.
The four courses stand among towering Douglas firs inside the wildlife park. Each provides increasingly difficult challenges. The tougher the course, the higher participants go into the lush forest canopy.
They range from about five-and-a-half feet off the ground for the Super Kid course to an eye popping 78 feet high about the equivalent of an eight-story building for the Sensation circuit.
Added together, theres more than one mile of action-packed thrills in the Northwest Trek Zip Wild forest.
Small children and ultra-adventuresome adults will find a course to match their size, enthusiasm and ability. Everyone will have an I accomplished that! sense of fulfillment when they complete their Zip Wild experience.
And because Zip Wild lies within the wildlife park, participants can get in a lot of animal watching before and after they conquer their challenging course.
Friends and family can join in the fun or watch the action from one of the wildlife parks many nature trails.
The courses are:
- Ages: 6 and up.
- Minimum participant height: 3 feet, 3 inches.
- Difficulty: Basic beginner. The course is just right for small children who want a play adventure with the same kinds of challenges as the older kids but sized for their younger, smaller bodies.
- Highest point: About 5.5 feet.
- Cost: $19.95, plus admission or membership to Northwest Trek; $9.95 for an adult who accompanies a child.
- Ages: 8 and up.
- Minimum participant height: 4 feet.
- Difficulty:. Entry level. Just right for kids 8 and up; a great taste of the Zip Wild adventure for adults who want a shorter circuit of thrills. 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.
- Highest point: About 17.5 feet.
- Cost: $29.95, plus admission or membership to Northwest Trek.
- Ages: 10 and up.
- Minimum participant height: 4 feet, 7 inches.
- Difficulty: Challenging. Adventure contains six zips or lengths of zip line, separated by an array of challenges that include cargo nets, swinging, slatted-step bridges and a tightrope. Zip liners must scale a 30-foot wall to get onto the course, which is 55 feet high at its tallest. Thats nearly as high as a six-story building.
- Highest point: 55 feet.
- Cost: $39.95, plus admission or membership to Northwest Trek.
- Ages: 18 and up.
- Difficulty: Extremely challenging. This is the zip line/challenge course equivalent of a black diamond ski run. Sensation combines all the elements of the Adventure course, with a greater ascent and more difficult challenges. The tasks are extreme, but so are the rewards. In addition to swinging bridges, tightropes, fishermens nets and other obstacles, Sensation requires participants to climb up and down rope ladders that many people might find hair-raisingly high.
- Highest point: 78 feet.
- Cost: $59.95, plus admission or membership to Northwest Trek.
In addition to the age and height restrictions, there is a 275-pound maximum weight limit for all courses. Closed-toed shoes are required, dangling jewelry is not permitted, and long hair must be tied back. Long pants are recommended.
The courses were built and are operated by Deep Forest Challenge, an adventure company with extensive experience running zip line/challenge courses in Europe.
Zip Wild will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through June 14.
Summer hours begin June 15, when the courses will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Zip Wild returns to weekend operation, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, from Sept. 3 through Sept. 29.
Corporate events and special groups may be accommodated on weekdays with reservations during May, early June and September.
For more information, go to www.nwtrek.org.
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, 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.