World’s Largest ZipRider – Hoonah, Alaska
By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley
Head to the community of Hoonah, located in Southeast Alaska on Chichagof Island. This largely Tlingit community is located 30 miles west of Juneau, Alaska’s state capital. Hoonah is on the coastal route of the Inside Passage, and surrounded by the Tongass National Forest. This idyllic rural community is pressed against a scenic marine and mountainous backdrop, sure to captivate anyone who enjoys beautiful wilderness settings, away from the crowds. While there are only 800 residents in Hoonah, the small town surely isn’t lacking when it comes to wow-factor. To get the most exciting thrill of your life, all you need to do is head to the world’s largest ZipRider at Icy Strait Point.
The trip kicks off with a drive up to the top of Hoonah Mountain which has an elevation of 1550 feet. Your driver will also double as a naturalist, fully narrating your trip as you pass through the village.
Wildlife such as Sitka black-tailed deer, bald eagles, and bears are occasionally see en route.
A short walk through towering old-growth rainforest will be a great way for you to unleash any of those pre-launch jitters as you anxiously approach the overlook area. Six side-by-side 5,330 foot ziplines dropping a whopping 1,330 feet is what you can expect to enjoy when you visit Icy Strait Point. On the way up, you’ll enjoy enchanting panoramic views as far as the eye can see.
You’ll be seated and buckled into a snug harness. After you launch, take a deep breath and prepare to embark on speeds exceeding 60 miles per hour as you soar 300 feet above the rainforest. The ZipRider experience will come to a comfortable end with a brake-activated landing on the beach at Icy Strait Point.
On a clear day, it’s incredible being able to overlook Port Frederick and Icy Strait. The views towards the towering peaks of Glacier Bay National Park are beyond your wildest imagination.
A total of six guests can descend at once, making this adrenaline-packed activity perfect for adventurous families and groups.
Know Before You Go: Make sure that you wear warm clothes, as the wind will whip right through you on a chilly day. A waterproof layer is always a good idea in this region of Alaska, where the coastal climate mixed with the temperate rainforest generally brings a fair amount of rain. Open-toe shoes are not allowed. Participants must weigh between 75 and 275 pounds.
Looking for more where that came from? Check out this Alaska road trip that will lead you through some of the most treasured tiny towns in the state. You’ll love learning about El Capitan Cave, Alaska’s largest aboveground cave that will give you an enchanting middle-earth type of experience, also located in the Tongass National Forest. You might also enjoy reading about the isolated places in Alaska where you can actually view Russia from your doorstep.