Ziplines have become all the rage in Alaska since the first one opened in 2005. And as the zipline has gained in popularity over the past decade, it has spread throughout the Southeast region, where the heavily traveled Inside Passage is almost entirely covered in temperate rain forest — making it the perfect environment for an exhilarating ride through the tree tops.
In May, Skagway becomes the latest port to introduce its own version of this high-adventure shore excursion. The four-hour ‘Mammoth Waterfalls and Ultra Zipline Adventure’ is located at the site of a former gold-rush town once known as Dyea — a city of 10,000 prospectors over a century ago, but long since reclaimed by the forest. After a brief narrative tour during the ride to the zip site, passengers can complete 12 ziplines up to 228-meters-long and traverse four adventure sky bridges overlooking waterfalls and the forest floor.
Beside Skagway, other ziplines can be found in Juneau (two locations), Ketchikan (two locations) and Icy Strait Point, Alaska’s only master-planned cruise destination, which claims that its ZipRider is the longest and tallest in the world, stretching 1,625 meters with a 300-foot (91 meter) vertical drop — riders complete the course in 90 seconds and reach speeds of more than 96 kilometres per hour. New for 2011 is helmet-cam video of your ride, available for purchase.