Family & Parenting

You Can Drop 2,100 Feet On This Heart-Pumping Mountain Zip Line

It's sure to be an adventure, but not for the faint of heart!

Calling all adventure junkies: This summer is the time to visit California’s Eastern Sierras, where Mammoth Mountain’s Adventure Center is introducing a seriously impressive zip line. From summit to base, the Megazip has a vertical drop of 2,100 feet and will reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour — the ski resort says it’s the tallest zip line in North America.

Start at the Adventure Center, where you’ll select your harness — you can fly seated or Superman-style — then ride the gondola up to the summit at 11,053 feet. There, clip in for the first leg of the descent, soaring over the iconic ski run, Climax, to Chair 1. Take a pause at the platform while a safety expert helps you unclip and transfer to the next segment, which plunges back to the Adventure Center.

And maybe the best part? “There are two side-by-side cables, so you can have that experience with a friend or family,” says Lauren Burke, a spokeswoman for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

The lower section (linking Chair 1 to the Adventure Center) is slated to open Memorial Day weekend, and the upper segment (between the summit and Chair 1) should open in July, all, of course, depending on weather (Mammoth notoriously gets late-season snow). Once the full route is open, the experience should take roughly 40 minutes, and, for safety purposes, zippers must weigh between 75 and 275 pounds.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

The Megazip is a grand addition to Mammoth’s increasingly epic status as a four-season adventure destination. It’s already a favorite spot for coastal Californians, but the resort is “really looking to expand our activities year-round for our guests,” says Burke. “We’re seeing people do so much more than skiing and mountain biking.”

In the last year or so, the Adventure Center has added twists to classics and brought in brand new activities. In 2018, Mammoth became one of the few spots in the country to allow pedal-assist mountain biking and last winter the resort added an intermediate-friendly “Introduction to Backcountry Touring” clinic. Now, it’s fashioning itself as a one-stop-shop for summer thrills that offers something for everybody.

In addition to the Megazip — which, with its combination of heights and speed is the prime adrenaline-rush activity — those who want a physical challenge will find a ropes course and a new six-route via ferrata. And, to make adventure a family affair, there are kid-friendly bungies, a climbing wall, junior zipline and even a summer day camp.

“So if parents want to spend some time experiencing the more advanced activities, there’s still plenty for the kids to do,” says Burke.