A young man rides a zipline at Mt. Hood. Ore.
You need a couple of stout trees, a steel rope, and a devil-may-care vacationer. Zip lining—sliding between treetops while harnessed to a pulley on a cable—got its start in Costa Rica's rain forests, then spread northward.
A few spots, such as Oregon's Mount Hood Skibowl (www.skibowl.com), offer low-key summer zips. But the serious fun is in forests from Alaska to Hawaii. Screaming is encouraged.
- Juneau, Alaska Glide through old-growth conifers on seven zips and a suspension footbridge. (907) 321-0947, www.alaskazip.com.
- Ketchikan, Alaska Zip line and climb around an eco park. (907) 225-8829, www.southeastexposure.com.
- Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii Explore a majestic Norfolk pine canopy on six zip lines and two aerial bridges. Moonlight tours two or three times a month. (808) 482-1295, www.justlive.org.
- Park City, Utah The world's longest zip line has four cables, allowing a quartet of riders to race. Top speed: 45 mph. (800) 222-7275, www.parkcitymountain.com/summer/activities/ziprider.
- Park City, Utah This 1,500-foot zip line is the world's steepest and runs at rates up to 50 mph. (435) 658-4200, www.utah.com/parkcity/alpine_slide.htm.
Photography courtesy of Mt. Hood Skibowl.
This article was first published in May 2009. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.