North Tahoe Adventures, the folks who brought you Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park at Granlibakken in Tahoe City and the Squaw Valley Adventure Park, have expanded to another location in Tahoe Vista. This new site, much like the site in Tahoe City, gives adventurers the opportunity to climb across challenging obstacles and zip line from tree to tree, all while safely harnessed to a cable.

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“As the level of difficulty of the course increases, the challenges
of the obstacles and your distance from the ground increases.”

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I took on the Tahoe Vista location on a sunny morning shortly after it opened this summer. The park has seven courses with more than 70 tree platforms and 20 zip lines. There are two (green) beginning courses, three (blue) intermediate courses and two (black diamond) advanced courses at the facility. The park is tucked at the back edge of the expansive North Tahoe Regional Park in a grove of firs and pines.

090816-TreeTop2_c.TimHThere are two major changes at this new park. Instead of a system that requires you to frequently clip in and out of a connection to the cable, here you attach to a cable and never have to clip in or out again for the rest of that course. This makes things run smoothly and quickly, but it also makes the course dependent on gravity because you can’t climb obstacles. Fortunately, the park is situated on a gentle slope that allowed the designers to create a fun and unique set of challenges. The other major change is that this version has many more zip lines.

Tahoe Treetop Adventure Parks are a good test for folks like me who have a fear of heights. I still felt trepidation, but the knowledge that I was safely attached to the cable kept me moving forward.

I began with two beginning courses: Seesaw and Bananas. There were plenty of interesting obstacles to overcome even though they were green courses.

For those not familiar with how a course works: You start out with a climb or walk to a platform in a tree and move from platform to platform via an obstacle or a zip line. Obstacles include shaky boards that you have to walk across, rope swings or other little tortures that swing and sway to make you wonder what you got yourself into. As the level of difficulty of the course increases, the challenges of the obstacles and your distance from the ground increases.

After polishing my chops on the two beginner courses, I upped my game to the appropriately named Lakeview. It is the highest course at the facility, but is primarily composed of a number of long zip lines with a few obstacles along the way. It was well worth taking a moment at one of the platforms to enjoy the view of Lake Tahoe.

I finished my day on Zig-Zag, which was definitely a big step up in difficulty in comparison to the first three courses. It was full of one “What in the heck did I get myself into?” scenario after another. My arms were pretty worn out by the time I got through. Good thing, because as I pondered some of the obstacles on those black-diamond courses from below, I was happy to be on the ground. Although those who were moving their way through the obstacles seemed to be having a blast.

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On my trip I discovered three reasons to make a trip to the Treetop Adventure Park. Firstly, the employees were uniformly friendly and helpful, but they were also relaxed and let people play. Secondly, it is a great family event. Everyone, ages 5 and older participate. Only the two more advanced courses are off limits to younger kids. Thirdly, this place is the great child-adult equalizer. While we adults, with some exceptions, were slowly lumbering our way across the obstacles, kids and teenagers were seen scampering across the courses with glee.

Reservations are required and there is a short ground school where you can learn how to use the facility and understand the rules before embarking on whatever courses you choose.

 

For more information, call (530) 581-7563 or visit northtahoeadventures.com.

 

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Tim Hauserman
Tim Hauserman wrote the official guidebook to the Tahoe Rim Trail, as well as “Monsters in the Woods: Backpacking with Children” and the children’s book “Gertrude’s Tahoe Adventures in Time.” Most of the year he writes on a variety of topics, but you will find him in the winter teaching cross-country skiing and running the Strider Gliders program at Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area. He has lived in Tahoe since he was a wee lad and loves to be outdoors road and mountain biking, hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking and cross-country skiing.