Six months into this socially distanced reality, the last thing my daughter wanted to do for her recent birthday was spend time in front of a screen for a Zoom party. So, what is an adventure-loving Tucson teen to do for some birthday fun these days? Arizona Zipline Adventures was the answer. When they graciously agreed to host my daughter's zipline adventure in exchange for sharing our experience with East Tucson Macaroni Kid readers, we knew it was time to check out this nearby locally-owned attraction. And Bonus! I got to experience the adventure too!
Arizona Zipline Adventures is located in Oracle, at the base of the north side of Mt. Lemmon. It was a bit of a drive from our midtown home, but a beautiful morning and the anticipation of the adventure ahead fueled us. The Arizona Zipline Adventures facility is a lovely, rustic building with great decks and expansive views. There is also a gift shop, and the Peppersauce Kitchen, which is open for brunch and lunch Thursdays-Sundays. Nearby, we could see some of the burn scar from the recent Bighorn Fire, and we learned that Arizona Zipline Adventures had served as a post for firefighters this summer. The landscape was far from desolate, though, with new greenery already emerging and beautiful views of the mountains all around.
We had chosen an 8 AM zipline eco-tour in order to beat the heat on this early September day, and one other couple from Phoenix had the same idea. Our fantastic Arizona Zipline Adventure Guides, Brie and Kyle, taught us how to put on our gear and talked us through what to expect during our 5-zipline tour. The whole experience felt completely safe, from clean, frequently inspected equipment, to knowledgable guides, to numerous precautions related to COVID-19 safety (handwashing, masks required, no shared gear or equipment). We were ready to ZIP!
The whole experience, from washing our hands to taking off our helmets, took about two hours. The best part, of course, was the middle, five ziplines, each faster and more exciting than the last. From the first "bunny hill" line to the final line that starts at the tops of a tall wooden platform and plunges down the side of a canyon, we were oohing and ahhing and screaming with excitement. I had a couple of moments of real fear (I mean, that last platform is HIGH), but the experience was mostly an exhilarating adrenaline rush. My daughter and I and the other couple in our group, zipped back and forth across the canyon, ocotillo and palo verdes below and blue sky above. It was breezy that day, and when the wind was at our backs, we zipped with even more gusto.
On the final zipline, the one from that high platform, my daughter and I were able to zip along side-by-side. Thank goodness! There was a moment atop the tower when I thought I may not be able to step off, but I couldn't let her go without me! When we landed back at the Arizona Zipline Adventures main platform, she turned to me and said, "Thanks so much, Mom! This is better than a Zoom party any day!"
Arizona Zipline Adventures has zipline ecotours available Thursday-Sundays, with tours starting at 9 AM in the fall. They also offer occasional sunset and moonlight zip tours, the next dates for these special tours in 2020 is Halloween night!
Next time you are feeling the screen fatigue, we highly recommend taking a break from Zoom to ZIP! Whether it's for a birthday, another special occasion, or just a much-needed break from day-to-day life, you will love this unique southern Arizona experience.
Arizona Zipline Adventures
35406 S. Mt. Lemmon Rd
Oracle, AZ 85623
We are grateful to Arizona Zipline Adventures for hosting our visit in exchange for this review. All of the views expressed in this article are our own. Those views, in sum, are that ziplining is exhilarating, our guides were absolutely wonderful, and the whole experience is one we highly recommend. Go zip!
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