The first two ziplines at Eagle Island State Park give first-timers a chance to conquer their fear.
The next four are all about fun.
Zip Boise has started part-time operation of its six-zipline course at the park. Full-time operations are expected to begin around May 22.
The course brings a popular activity at vacation destinations into the Treasure Valley. And it’s well-suited to folks who haven’t tried a zipline before because the tower locations and speeds aren’t as extreme as at a place like Tamarack Resort, where the zipline program is run by the same company as Eagle Island’s.
“This is a super-fun zipline course,” said guide Lacey Strickler of Nampa, who has worked at Tamarack. “It’s pretty moderate, mild, but it’s still a crazy, awesome thrill.”
Ziplines use a harness and a pulley system to send customers racing from tower to tower above trees, ponds and other terrain. Zip Boise’s lines range from 400 to 1,100 feet. The 1,100-footer has three lines, setting up the possibility of three customers going at once. The fourth and sixth zips are the same, but on the last zip two customers can go side by side.
The platforms are several stories off the ground, presenting an awkward first step. The first two ziplines at Eagle Island are fairly short and only cross the park lawn.
The other four cross a pond.
“The hardest part out here is just jumping off the edge for most people,” Strickler said. “It’s not human nature, obviously, to step off the ledge.”
The course includes a few add-on features beyond the zips. The path from the third landing spot to the fourth takeoff requires traversing a rickety, three-piece suspension bridge. Moving from the fifth landing spot to the final takeoff requires jumping off the platform while connected to a device that automatically controls your descent to the ground. And along the way, there’s an optional Quick Jump device that simulates a parachute landing, a short free fall followed by a controlled descent.
So far, guide Ben Kissee said, customers have enjoyed the tours that can last up to three hours, depending on the size of the group.
“They love that it’s close to Boise, too,” he said.
The standard tour is $79 for adults and $69 for accompanied minors (book online for a 5 percent discount). The height requirement is 48 inches, and the weight range is 100 to 275 pounds. There’s an additional $5 entrance fee per car for Eagle Island if you don’t have a State Parks passport.
Shorter tours are available that accommodate a wider range of body sizes. The four-zip medium tour ($65/$55) can handle weights of 75 to 275 pounds. The two-zip short tour ($34) can take guests at 42 inches and 60 pounds.
Customers with a Zip Boise receipt will receive a 20 percent discount on a Tamarack zipline tour this season.
For more info, go to zipboise.com.