Be First in Flight with Catalina Island Zip Line Eco Tour

By Sylvia Burleigh

If you could fly safely above the hills of Catalina Island with a beautiful ocean view of Avalon Bay, would you do it?  With 1 million visitors year-round, Catalina Island Zip Line Eco Tour has quickly become the number# 1 outdoor activity on Catalina Island according to Trip Advisor.  The staff at Zip Line Eco Tour has thought of everything.  Whether this is you hundredth time zip lining or your first experience, you’ll find superior equipment safety lessons to unique presentations regarding Catalina Island to storage for your personal belongings.

It all begins with a ¾ mile drive inland via Hummer or Jeep Caravan.  Once in the hills of Avalon, you’ll zip line through the Descano Canyon to your final destination, Descano Beach.  Consisting of five lines, the longest being 1100 feet, you’ll stop at platforms, or eco-stations, before continuing to the next line. The knowledgeable staff give presentations in a fun and interactive way and allow you to take photos if you wish. While smartPhones, GoPro and DSLR cameras are allowed, selfie sticks are not, but Catalina Island Zip Line Eco Tour does offer group photos at the end of the trip with an option to purchase.  Images are sent via email.

As you glide 600 feet above sea level at a speed of 35 miles per hour, you’ll have a perfect view of the surrounding hills, canyons and the pristine coast line of Catalina Island.  It’s an ideal excursion for first-timers or for those looking to spend 2 hours in an activity that they’ll long remember after vacation is over. While Zip Line Eco Tours is open 9 am to 5 pm, on occasion they do have twilight zip line tours as well if you’re interested in a more exhilarating experience.

Every participant receives training on how to lift off and land appropriately.  Guides provide safety and equipment demonstrations, make suggestions on landing techniques and conclude with how to use the braking system. Before each tour, a ten-point safety inspection is done on all equipment, including helmets, to make sure everything is in good working order before you take off.  As you’re grouped with others, two guides are assigned to assist you through the entire tour.

The Zip Line Eco Tour opened in 2010 and has received recognition from USA Today and Forbes magazine.

Tips for the Best Experience with Catalina Island Zip Line Eco Tours

Having the experience of a lifetime while you’re visiting Catalina Island should be simple. Here is a quick list to make your time with Catalina Island Zip Line Eco Tour a safe and fun outing.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes.  For an enjoyable time, wear sneakers or shoes that provide full coverage. Sandals, heels and flip-flops might make it more difficult to step off platforms or land securely.
  2. You must be at least 80 pounds and at least 10 years of age to zip line solo.  Children between the ages of 5 and 9 can ride tandem with a parent or legal guardian at least 18 years of age or older.  However, the combined weight of tandem zip liners cannot be over 235 pounds.
  3. Long shorts or pants are required.  Because you’ll be riding in a full body harness swimsuits, short shorts, aka ‘daily dukes,’ skirts and dangling earrings are not permitted.  If you have long hair it must be tied back for your safety.
  4. Wear sunscreen. You may want to apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
  5. Book reservations in advanced.  Catalina Island Zip Line Eco Tours recommends for a quality time that you complete and sign their waiver before the tour begins.   You can schedule your trip between 9 am and 5 pm by calling 800 626-1496.
  6. Allow 2 hours for the entire zip line experience.  Be sure to also arrive 20 minutes before the tour so that they can collect all signed and completed waivers and allow you to lock valuables if needed.
  7. Listen to your guides.  Ask questions and consider suggestions made by the staff for a safe and comfortable ride.
  8. You need to be of reasonable health and good physical condition.  Please consider that you will need some upper arm strength to pull yourself along the cable lines.

To ensure everyone’s safety while participating in the Catalina Island Zip Line Eco Tour, you cannot schedule a tour if:

  • You are pregnant.
  • You are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • You have a serious heart condition.
  • You have an existing muscular skeletal injury or any other medical issue that jeopardizes your safety and the safety of those participating on the tour.

Discover Catalina Island through the sport of zip lining.  See nature and the beautiful tropical island as it was meant to be seen: pristine, untouched and lush with Catalina Island Zip Lining Eco Tour.