Adrenaline Rush Alert: Ziplining at Pacific Crest

By Karen Happel (@Happelstance)

Photo: Pacific Crest

With summer looming just around the corner, sweaters and knee-high boots are pushing their way further into closets as dreams of back-to-nature getaways start to materialize. But big elaborate vacations to exotic locales require time and money, and life is just so busy…

Tucked into the shadow of the San Gabriel mountains is Ziplines at Pacific Crest in the quaint town of Wrightwood, the answer to “big city overwhelm.” It has all of the local charm of a one-stoplight town with friendly locals and pristine air quality. Only 75 miles from Hollywood, it is a perfect day-trip adventure perfect for escaping busy freeways and busier lifestyles and experiencing what the world looks like from 300 feet above ground. (Leave the stilettos at home.)

With a choice between two action-packed tours, both adventures promise – and deliver – six or nine ziplines up to 1,500 feet long, rope sky bridges stretching 200 feet long, and an opportunity to rappel from majestic pines stretching 90 feet in the air. It’s not for the faint of heart, but all tours are accompanied by two friendly, knowledgeable guides who are experts in everything safety-related and walk zipliners through every zip, suspension, and drop.

Unlike most Southern California ziplines, this one requires self-breaking, which adds an additional level of adrenaline. Instead of automatic stops at the end of each line, the guides teach zipliners how to safely slow themselves down using breaking techniques so that they can self-disembark from each zipline. This additional interactive element turns a lofty scenic ride into an action-packed adventure, forcing riders to stay present for every high-speed moment.

We recently paid a visit to zip through the 2-plus-hour Mountain View tour, and we are already planning a return trip to experience their famous 3-and-a-half-hour Canopy Tour, which is complete with rope bridges and a dueling two-track zipline. As newcomers, we especially appreciated Charlie the Australian Shepard who greeted our arrival, and the Jurassic Park theme song in the van ride to the top of the tour. It set an adventurous and jovial mood before it was time to clip our 10-point harnesses into the first zipline.

Also setting Pacific Crest ahead of its competition is the staff. Many of them have been with the company for years, their bond is strong, and they welcome each zipliner warmly into their little family. Take advantage of their passion for ecology throughout the day, as they will share the background of every tree and animal seen along the tour – the other members of the Pacific Crest family. And stick around after flying through treetops to join the guides for a beer down the street – they’re a fun crew, and they’ll fill you in on all that Wrightwood has to offer. After all, those who zip together, stay together.

Ziplining at Pacific Crest is about more than a day in the trees – it’s about leaving fear behind and finding heart. It’s a soul-cleansing experience, stepping away from a busy life to jump from tree to tree – and we’d do it again in an adrenaline-fueled heartbeat.

About The Author

Hiko Mitsuzuka
Entertainment Editor-at-Large

Hiko Mitsuzuka is a self-proclaimed pop culture connoisseur who resides in L.A. and obsesses over songs months before everyone else obsesses over them. He has worked in TV and commercial production ever since he left his native New York in the early 00s. He has worked at the world-renowned Anonymous Content and Carsey-Werner and freelanced as a treatment writer for award-winning directors as well as a contributing writer for 'Instinct.' In addition to writing about entertainment and travel for 'Bello,' Hiko can currently be seen in the roles of Manager of Creative Planning at Stun Creative (PromaxBDA's North America Agency of the Year, 2013, 2014, 2017), film critic for, and contributor for The Huffington Post. He's also currently working on the novel 'Slasher Movie Girl.' His obsessions include quoting old sitcom dialogue and stalking people on Instagram. His vices include chocolate chip cookies and movie theater popcorn. Tweet him @TheFirstEcho.

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