About Us

Monty Holmes

Aerial Park --The Long Road

For well over a decade we have operated a world-class zipline tour, and in the process, have given our guests—from all over the country and throughout the world—memorable experiences that will last a lifetime. While our guests were enjoying these Rocky Mountain experiences, we at Captain Zipline continued to develop and train our staff over the years, striving to provide an adventure experience that had all the chills and thrills one could hope for, while doing so in the safest way possible.

As the years rolled by, the industry itself evolved as better practices and new techniques emerged within this growing discipline. And we were right there, soaking up all the training and education we could absorb so that this could then be passed on as a better experience for our guests.

The zipline industry in Colorado exploded from our lone, flagship operation back in 2005 to more than 20+ such tours at present. Likewise, zipline tours seemed to be springing up all over the country as tourists caught on to this new adventure and sought out a zipline experience. Several years ago, a new concept, the aerial adventure park, made its way from its European roots and to the USA.

We were intrigued.

And thus began our journey to learn a bit more about this concept. Aerial adventure parks are very popular in Europe (Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland have hundreds of them); they appeal to individuals seeking outdoor adventures in a natural setting, activities that are lots of fun and at the same time, build confidence and stamina while playing in the healthy outdoors.

We had to do this.

And thus we started our quest to bring this concept 'home' to Colorado. We learned that most aerial adventure parks are built in forests and contain linked combinations of "elements" consisting of bridges, catwalks, tightropes, trapezes, ladders and other obstacles. Guests balance, climb, swing, traverse and crawl through a constellation of swinging bridges arranged in courses of increasing difficulty levels denoted by color codes similar to ski areas.

Sounds straightforward...Okay, we can do this. We need to do this.

Captain Zipline researched this concept and vetted the few stellar builders of aerial adventure parks. And then we chose a world-renowned aerial park design firm. Initially, the consultants planned to build the aerial challenge course on a mesa, atop the canyon and amongst the zipline tour Guide Shack and zipline training areas. This was a solid plan...but, we thought, "Wow, wouldn't it be even better and more dramatic if we built this down inside the canyon?"

And that's when things got really complicated.

"How are you going to set 60-foot poles down in that canyon," some 150 feet below the rim?, we were asked. After further research and consultation with even more construction experts, we found the way—with a 100-ton crane, one-by-one the poles were carefully lowered into the canyon and set in 8-foot footers. Within several few weeks, the backbone of our Canyon Aerial Course was in place.

Once the poles were in the ground, the team then began the construction of a series of small platforms; these were attached at multi-levels to the wooden poles and along the cliffs in our rugged canyon. The decks were then connected by cables, ropes, and boards forming many different challenging pathways. A safety lifeline was installed throughout the entire length of the courses. This would be the 'life-line' of our harnessed guests as they traversed between the platforms. By the end of this building process, over 120 different obstacles between poles and cliffs were joined together to create the largest aerial park in the Western US.

This massive, awe-inspiring fun-complex looked perfectly situated in the belly of our canyon. Not only that, it was a good fit with our other adventure venues—the now-old-hat but still world-class attraction zipline and the via ferrata that coursed along the canyon face.

Via what? Via ferrata, an "iron way" that is constructed along mountainsides that are typically inaccessible. These courses date back to war times such as WWI when they were built in Europe's mountains to move troops and equipment. After that, these iron highways were used/built to provide tourists with a means of climbing a mountain without possessing the advanced skills of a mountain climber. They have been part of outdoors adventure activities in Europe for decades, but had not yet made much of a splash in the USA.

Prior to the aerial course build, we had constructed a via ferrata course along the face of some colorful cliffs in our canyon park. Once the Canyon Aerial Course was completed, we then turned our attention and efforts to adding more via ferrata routes on the mountainside. In all, four (4) via ferrata courses were built and these have been configured into two (2) different tour routes.

By the time we completed the Canyon Aerial Course and the Via Ferrata courses, we had a full-fledged American Aerial Park! Actually, we had the Captain Zipline Aerial Adventure Park, fun for ages 8 to 80, and an amazing collection of outdoors activities like none other. This family adventure is a unique and exciting activity in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado.

Although a few hours away from the major population centers of the state such as Denver and Colorado Springs, one of the reasons to come to this sweet spot is because it is away from the metropolitan areas of Colorado. If you think the drive here is jaw-dropping, just wait till you get on our tours! Here in the beautiful, high-mountain town of Salida, Colorado, we have a world-class attraction that is hard to surpass in the USA. Colorado-style natural beauty and stature just can't be beat...nor duplicated, for that matter!

The hundreds of hours of research, consultation, design, and re-design that went into our newest projects were worth the time, effort, and expense. Come on out and see for yourself! We think you will agree...and will have the time of your life at Captain Zipline Aerial Adventure Park in Salida, Colorado.

See what other travellers have to say about Lost Canyon Zipline at Trip Advisor. Check it out, and leave your comment!