Everyone knows about Colorado skiing, but once the snow melts and spring runoff calms, summer calls visitors and locals alike to the mountains, trails and, for the adventurous, ziplines.
Buena Vista – This small and often mispronounced town (hint – it’s not Spanish) boasts Ava’s Zip Line Tours, with seven lines over 44 acres. Enjoy a soaring view of the Arkansas River and Collegiate Peaks.
Manitou Springs – This quirky town near Colorado Springs features one great hike known as The Incline and a less famous but still spectacular tour, The Bat-A-Pult, a 1,200-foot round trip ride across Williams Canyon.
Salida – Captain Zip Line’s Lost Canyon Zip Line Tour adds an exciting flair to this western town. Riders reach speeds of 40 miles per hour at this high-speed tour.
Avon – Just outside Vail is the bedroom community of Avon, Colorado, where many locals live and play. Colorado Zip Line Adventures features six lines as high as 200 feet and 1000 feet long with spectacular views of the Gore Range up the Vail Valley.
Crested Butte – The quintessential mountain town, Crested Butte is nestled high in the Rocky Mountains. The Crested Butte Zip Line Canopy Tour gives participants five zip lines from 120-400 feet in length connected by suspension bridges and platforms.
Golden – Located in the foothills just outside Denver along I-70, Golden is the perfect gateway to the Rocky Mountains. It also features the longest and fastest zipline in Colorado that carries the courageous 50 miles per hour, 200 feet in the air for 6,000 feet at Denver Zip Line Tours.
Durango – This outdoor-lovers’ paradise has something for everyone, including three zipline companies. The Full Blast Zip Line Canopy Tour showcases towering Ponderosa Pines and can be even be enjoyed at night. Another set of ziplines, The Purgatory Plunge at Purgatory Durango Mountain Resort, is named for the sensation one gets dropping in off of a massive tower. Two zip lines cover more than 100 yards and visitors reach speeds of more than 35 miles per hour. Soaring Tree Top Adventures features 24 zip lines from 56 to 1,400 feet long. The lines cross the Animas River and include a four-course lunch served in the trees.
Glenwood Springs – The awe-inspiring Glenwood Canyon provides the setting for this zipline tour, which soars across the Colorado River 350 feet in the air. Three lines, a rock climbing wall and high ropes challenge course thrill and challenge visitors.
Tabernash – This small town near Winter Park is known to Nordic skiers as home of the Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, which now also hosts The High Lonesome Zip Line. The attraction features five zip lines from 370 to 1,600 feet in length and 28 to 78 feet high.
Idaho Springs – Located in a valley along I-70, the Idaho Springs Colorado Canopy Zip Line provides a perfect rest stop for travlers to stretch their legs and enjoy 3,000 feet of exhilaration. Five towers in Clear Creek Canyon are up to 65-feet tall.
Canon City – This town is blessed with the deep and spectacular Royal Gorge and plenty of opportunities for whitewater rafting and ziplines, with two companies. Want to go fast? The Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours can help out, with 20 lines on two courses, including an 11-line extreme course on which participants travel at more than 55 miles per hour with views of the incredible Royal Gorge. Want to get high? Then the Soaring Eagle Zip Line is for you. Located at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, it is the highest zip line in the world at 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River.
Leadville – The Top of the Rockies Zip Line is near Leadville and way up high; platforms start at 11,200 feet above sea level. The property is open year-round and visitors often glimpse elk, deer and other wildlife after being transported by Snow Cats or Ranger Cats from Base Camp to the start of the tour.
Vail – This swanky mountain town adds an attraction this summer with the Vail Mountain Adventure Ridge. The four-line, 1,200-foot long zipline opens mid-summer 2013.
By Sean McCoy