This past winter, my uncle sent me a text message asking if any ziplines are located near Santa Fe. He and his family want to ride one when they visit this summer. My first thought: I didn’t know he was visiting this summer. But I quickly shook that off and dutifully set about trying to locate the nearest wire-cable attraction.
I once rode an epic zipline over a canyon in Muscat, Oman, so I’m thinking these things are a dime a dozen. Twenty minutes of Google asking me, “Did you mean…” later, I finally accept the reality that the closest place to embrace gravity while attached to a highly tensioned metal wire is Durango, Colo. Not too far, but if you’ve only got five days to spend in Santa Fe, you shouldn’t be wasting one of them on the road—not even Cerrillos Road. I admitted defeat, gave my uncle the bad news and decided to continue living my life, albeit a life devoid of adrenaline-inducing ziplines.
Angel Fire Resort is clearly in bed with the NSA (or Google, Inc.), and, after reviewing my web history (and getting over the initial shock of how little I visit websites like YouTube or reddit), decided to construct a zipline.
More realistically, Angel Fire developers thought to themselves, “Hey, we already have a lot of cool things to do in the summer; let’s build a zipline, too.” And so they did.
Opening July 6, the Angel Fire Zipline Adventure Tour anchors the resort’s Summit Adventure Center, which already features mountain biking, disc golf and hiking.
“We’re always looking out for new attractions and innovative ways to add more fun and excitement into a family’s Rocky Mountain vacation,” says Dave Dekema, director of marketing for Angel Fire Resort. He adds that the new zipline, the first in New Mexico, perfectly complements the resort’s scenic views and mountain topography—“not to mention it’s an absolutely unforgettable, thrill-a-minute experience.”
The tour consists of six different ziplines that allow guests to travel an incredible 4,475 feet, at one point 50 stories above the forest floor.
Angel Fire Resort spokeswoman Krysty Ronchetti says everyone on the mountain is very excited about the addition of the zipline.
“It’s not a straight, one-line kind of thing,” Ronchetti says, “it gives the true outdoors person something great to do in the summer.”
She’s quick to add, however, that in keeping with the mountain resort’s dedication to families, the tour can be enjoyed at whatever level of excitement a guest prefers.
“If you don’t want to ride the 500 feet drop, or 500-feet above the ground, you don’t have to,” Ronchetti explains.
Angel Fire also offers a “flight school” for anyone who wants some instruction before tackling the entire course.
But there’s still plenty of opportunity for excitement.
“It’s a true adventure,” Ronchetti adds.
After the rider adjusted to the idea that this is fun and death is not imminent, Angel Fire turns the knobs up to 11.
The fifth segment of the tour is made up of two parallel wires that allow friends or relatives to race one another the 1,600 feet distance.
“The tandem is the hook of the course,” Jamie Seifert, director of mountain operations, tells SFR.
Parents, if you’re worried that the last portion of this tour will result in sibling bickering about who won the race (probably decided by who weighs more), do not fret.
The final zip, which takes riders across the last 1,150 feet, is “pretty steep and pretty fast,” Seifert says. “It’s exciting. Those last two zips are the ones people will be talking about.”
Unfortunately, SFR was unable to ride before press time, but merely hearing the excitement of those I spoke with has me hankering to try it out.
Now, to tell my uncle, and wish that all my problems could be solved with dead-end Internet searches.