Wild Waves unleashes longest zip-line ride in South Sound
Northwest Trek’s Zip Wild isn’t the only zip-line debuting in the South Sound this summer.
As part of its 35th anniversary celebration, Wild Waves unveiled its new Soaring Eagle zip-line June 27.
It is an experience much different than the multiple zip-lines found on canopy tours, but different was exactly what the Federal Way park was going for, said Wild Waves spokeswoman Amy Wallsmith.
“It’s not typical,” she said. “It’s the next generation of zip-lining.”
Instead of dangling from the line in a harness, riders buckle into a sleek chairlift-like contraption. Riders are then pulled up the zip-line before being let loose to fly back to the starting point. “It’s a fun ride in both directions,” Wallsmith said. “You go back pretty fast.”
The setup makes the ride accessible to a wide range of people, many of whom might not physically be able to participate in a canopy tour or challenge course.
Wallsmith says there are two steps up from the line to zip chair, but people with disabilities can ride if they can’t navigate this obstacle.
The chair can hold two people and the ride lasts about a minute. Rides are $10 for one person and $15 for two. Admission to the park ($20-$40) also must be paid. Single riders must weigh 175 pounds (in order to keep the chair balanced) or less and two-rider loads can’t exceed 450 pounds.
Unlike most canopy tours, no reservations are required.
Don’t let the easy access and the setting amongst kids splashing through the water park fool you. At 100 feet high and 700 feet long, it is the highest and longest in Western Washington. Northwest Trek plans to unveil a 705-foot zipline in August.
Riders reach speeds of 28 mph as they zip across Betts Lake.
“At the top you have a bird’s eye view of the entire park,” Wallsmith said. “It’s pretty amazing.”