Into the woods and through the trees, the Snowmass Lost Forest park is an adventure guarantee.
Pro tip:Get an early morning start (9:30am) on the zip line tour, and then spend your afternoon on the challenge course, where you can choose from five different routes of varying levels and make your way through a thrilling set of treeline obstacles like bridges, ladders, rappels and zip lines.
A ride up Snowmass’ Elk Camp Gondola on a sunny July morning brought me to the Lost Forest base camp, directly opposite of Elk Camp Restaurant. The adventure center opened in summer 2018, and I was itching to experience the thrill myself.
I started off on a high note with the Canopy Run Zipline Tour. Our group geared up and listened as two guides gave us a rundown on the do’s and don’ts of zipping from tree to tree. Harnesses strapped on and helmets secured, we made our way to the first stop: ground school. Here we honed our braking skills on a nearly 6-foot-tall practice line, and then it was off to the real thing.
Aspen Skiing Company’s zip line tour includes the nation’s only diagonal rappel and seven zip lines of varying heights and lengths. With careful footing, we made our way across the first aerial rope bridge, rappelled from a tree tower, hooked onto the first zip line and off we went, flying through the forest canopy. The burst of fresh mountain air paired with the rush of soaring through the sky had me smiling, along with the remarkable quarter-mile finale line that gave me ample time to take in the stunning 360-degree alpine views.
After rappelling the last tower, we hopped into a massive Army truck painted bright orange—SkiCo’s two Humvees run on, get this, waste grease from sushi restaurants in town—for a rocky ride up the mountain and back to headquarters. It was back home for me, but the base camp is a launchpad for additional adventure activities such as an obstacle course, climbing wall and alpine coaster. Open daily from June through early September, and weekends into October, 9am-4pm, $219 peak access pass, aspensnowmass.com
Photography by: Dan Bayer/Courtesy of Aspen Skiing Company