A few months ago I wrote a review of our fun time at the Epic Sky Trek in Castle Rock, Colorado. We were invited to come back to try the zip line tour as their guests. It was a generous offer we couldn’t refuse.
The Castle Rock Adventure Park is located within the awesome 320 acre Philip S. Miller Park. There are hiking trails, an amphitheater, and Challenge Hill, which is a mini Manitou Incline. The adventure park is a separately run entity. In addition to the Epic Sky Trek and zip line course, there is the Epic Tower Adventure (which we have yet to try), and the Ninja Warrior Course, which we (meaning my sons) tried. Gray did the salmon ladder like it was nothing, and Holden shot to the top of the 14’ warped wall like he was Spider-Man. I couldn’t do either of those if my life depended on it.
The zip line tour consists of 10 sections, each longer than the previous one. These are very fast, smooth lines where you hit up to 50 MPH. The total length of the course is over one and a half miles, with the ninth line being .25 miles long. That may not sound very far, but when you are standing on the platform on one side of the valley, your destination on the other side is a little speck. This one was my favorite. Hurtling yourself off the edge, you have plenty of time to look around at the scenery, with the wind blowing in your face.
At the start of the tour, after gearing up in harnesses, helmets and gloves, we loaded up into a little off-road vehicle and were driven up a dirt path to the practice area. This ride was fun in itself! We were given the safety spiel and were able to practice our technique on a short horizontal line with a guide at each end. Once we proved we could do it, we walked up a trail to the first line.
One thing I didn’t realize was that there was some hiking between each section. I had worn a coat, which I was glad I had while zip lining, but I got hot during the hiking parts. The harness is a bit heavy. None of my three guys wore a coat and they were fine. At the midway point, there is a tent set up with water and a huge cooler full of candy bars, which we very much appreciated and enjoyed.
On the hiking section between the ninth and tenth lines, there is a fork in the trail. The left path meets up with the upper portion of Challenge Hill and you have to climb the last 50 or so steps to reach the top. The right path bypasses the stairs, but is longer. Our guides went right, we went left. Having done the Manitou Incline a few times, the stairs didn’t scare us, but I didn’t take into account the heavy harness and my coat. I was pretty hot and sweaty when I took that last step.
The final section is a 1,500’ dual race line. We paired up by weight to try to make it competitive. Brett was with Gray and I was with Holden, although he has a good 15-20 lbs. on me. For years, I denied the fact that I’m a competitive person, but I don’t deny it anymore. I wanted to win.
“Can we cannonball down?” I asked our guide. Cannonballing is where you tuck your body into a tight ball which makes you go faster.
“Sure, you can,” he answered. The only problem was that Holden was standing right there during this exchange. I should have taken the guide aside and whispered it to him. Holden stole my strategy and handily beat me.
This is our second time zip lining (the first was in Montana) and while we are not experts, I can say that this tour is top notch. The lines are long and fast, and safety is paramount. Everything, from the gear to the trails to the lines themselves, is clearly well maintained. If you’re looking for a quality zip lining experience, you won’t go wrong at Castle Rock Zip Line Tours. Thank you to Adam and his staff for a very memorable day!