Ziplining at Alaska Canopy Adventures

There are two main attractions on our property: Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary and Alaska Canopy Adventures. The first consists of walking tours, which is what I do; the second is all about the zipline, which I do whenever I have the opportunity.
I’ve ziplined at ACA twice: once during the day, and once at night. And funny enough, ziplining at night was definitely less scary. Why? Because you have no idea how high up you are, it’s so dark! But either way you do it (and unless you work here, you will definitely do it during the day), the guides at ACA will make sure you have a good time.
The adventure begins at trailhead, just like ARS, but there’s much more to the introduction than a walking tour. First off, the guides have to weigh everyone on the tour – but don’t worry, there’s no numbers on these scales, there is only black and red. If you’re in the black, you’re good to go; if you’re in the red, you either weigh too little or too much to safely get through the zipline. This is pretty darn rare though.

Two of our lovely guides showing you the only test you’ll have to pass.

Once everyone’s been cleared to zip, you’ll be transported by Unimog, basically a giant military-looking vehicle that’s great for off-roading. You’ll head up the hill to where the zipline begins, be harnessed up with all the equipment you need to be safe, and be shown by your guides how to be safe out there on the lines.
At last, it’s time to zip! There will be two guides: one, the lead, who explains the course and will always be the first one across. They are the guide that catches you on the other end, or, if you don’t make it across, will sometimes rescue you and pull you in the rest of the way. The other guide, the sweep, is the one clipping you into the line and sending you over to the lead.

Ready to jump?
Zipping to the lead!

There are two courses, Bear Creek and Eagle Creek. Eagle Creek has three suspension bridges to walk across, but Bear Creek has more rappels. Both are a great time, so no worries about which one you choose!

One of the suspension bridges.

At one point, there is a platform with a photographer, who will take your picture as you zip across. As someone cross-trained on photography, my best advice to you as you’re zipping is to hold that pose! Sometimes people pose for a millisecond and expect us to catch it; you’ve gotta hold it friends, or else we’ll either miss it or it’ll be a very distant picture of you.

What a pose!

On both courses, there is a chance you’ll see wildlife. We always like to emphasize that nothing is guaranteed, because of course, these are wild animals! As much as we try, they don’t seem to respond to our desperate pleas to show up whenever we want. And so, as we do not believe it is ethical to bait, feed, or fence in wild bears, we are completely at their mercy as far as appearances go. But you are guaranteed some absolutely gorgeous views, good times, and fun guides!

The Eagle Creek course passes over an estuary, one of the spots where wildlife can sometimes roam.

At last, you arrive at your final platform, from which you will rappel back down to the ground. It seems like it’ll be a free fall, but it’s really a nice, easy coast down to the ground, into the loving arms of your lead guide.

Catch me!

And with that, you are returned to civilization, released from your harness, given a medal for completing the course, and introduced to all the areas you can explore while awaiting the bus! There’s the totem pole park that the ARS tours end at, a blacksmith shop, a gift shop with complimentary hot drinks and salmon dip on crackers, all that good stuff.
Overall, Alaska Canopy Adventures is always a good time with fast lines, fun guides, and beautiful views of the Alaska rainforest. What more could you ask for on a sunny and/or rainy day in Ketchikan?

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