Experience remarkable views, a rush of fresh air on your face, and a whole lot of excitement as you and your little monkeys zip line through the trees. Whether it’s your first time tethered into a harness, or you’ve sped through the wilderness before, it’s a surefire way to inject some adrenaline into your kids’ summer. Read on for six spots that are only a short drive from Portland, and promise thrills and squeals as you enjoy the outdoors with your family.
photo: Annette Benedetti
Only 30 minutes from Portland, Pumpkin Ridge is one of the easiest getaways to fulfill your zipping desires. Flying high, you and your kiddos can feel as free as a bird while you all take in the sights. The zip lines in this course get progressively more intense. Starting off only 15 feet off the ground at the beginning and ending with a view from a 120-foot high suspension bridge, your crew will have time to build up a tolerance to the great heights achieved here.
22616 NW Pumpkin Ridge Rd., North Plains, Or.
Youth: $75; Adults $85
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; open year round
Rogue Valley Zip Line Adventure
If you’re ready for more of a road-trip, head on out to the Rogue river for another amazing zip line option. With 5 zip lines on the course, it’s a perfect way to spend part of a weekend. With some of the best views of the lot, your little ones can sneak a peek at Crater Lake Rim while zipping high above the trees.
If you want to make your time in Rogue Valley a little more fancy, consider the Zip, Dip & Sip package. With the upgrade, you’ll get the chance to extend your stay in the enticing area with a river rafting trip on the Rogue River, plus lunch and a chance to relax at Del Rio Vineyards & Winery (and drink wine, obviously).
9450 Old Stage Rd. Central Point, OR.
Youth: $72; Adults: $82
9 a.m. – 5 p.m., 7 Days a Week
photo: Camp Pinewood via flickr
Tree to Tree Adventure Park
Accurately calling itself a playground in the trees, this park offers a bit more variety than some of the others in the area, including one of the longest zip lines around these parts, and some aerial adventures for your youngins who aren’t quite ready for the full-blown zipping experience. So if the 1,280-foot-long line is too much to handle, you can choose to try out their Aerial Adventure a set of 6 obstacle courses built into the trees (no need to worry, everyone is safely harnessed here, too). And if you have some really little tykes with you, they can check out the mini adventures instead: Adventure Village, Tree Top Plunge or Monkey Grove.
2975 SW Nelson Road Gaston, Or.
Zip lines starting at $79; Mini adventures starting at $25
Sun – Thu 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Fri – Sat 9 a.m. – 5 p.m
photo: Virginia Guard Public Affairs via flickr
Skamania Lodge Zip Line Tour
The only zip course in southwestern Washington, the tour at Skamania Lodge is an easy 45 minutes from Portland. Tucked into the Columbia River Gorge, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a prettier place to spend some time in the sky. There’s no age limit on this zippy trip, so all of your kidlets can take part (although those under 10 will need an adult with them). Their lines range from 100-feet long to 900-feet long, and are interspersed with short hikes, ramps and tree decks to take in the view around you. With tours available all year, you can even plan a day trip after summer ends.
1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way, Stevenson, Wa.
9 a.m. – 5 p.m., seven days a week year-round
Crater Lake ZipLine
It’s a bit more of a drive from Portland, but if you’re headed towards Crater Lake with children over 10, this zip line park is worth the stop. The views are unequaled by any other course, which is easy to do when you’re only 30 minutes from Crater Lake itself.
Beyond the usual zip lines, the excursion here also has two chances to try rappelling and two sky bridges to cross along the way. If you’re looking to add to the fun and extend your day, they also offer their own unique “skyak” adventure package, which puts you in the sky with the zip lines and in the water with a kayak.
29840 OR-140, Klamath Falls, Or.
8 a.m. – 6 p.m., seven days a week
photo: Annette Benedetti
High Life Adventures
Give everyone in your family a chance at an unparalleled adventure at High Life Adventures. At this zip park, kids weighing in at 60 pounds can zip alone along the eight-line course —but even your littler ones can get in on the fun by tandem zipping with their grown-up. With the highest point reaching 75 feet, it’s a little less intense than some of the other lines around.
Traversing around and over a seven acre lake, the children will light up at the chance to dip into the water on the “Maple” line — but fear not, it’s not a requirement if you didn’t pack a change of clothes for you and yours.
92111 High Life Rd., Warrenton, Or.
Youth: $69; Adult: $99
10 a.m. – 4 p.m., seven days a week
Looking for other things to do around Astoria? Check out our previous feature on the area.
Do you and your crew have a favorite outside activity? Share with us in the comments