By Paige McDaniel
If you’ve never stood on a platform several stories above the forest floor and you’re being asked to grab a rope and swing, this might be the phrase you hear from one of the staff members at Deep Forest Challenge at Northwest Trek.
Tucked away near Northwest Trek’s vast jungle, Deep Forest Challenge is a zip-line and ropes course like you’ve never seen before. Packed with four courses that include climbing walls, tightropes, zip lines, and swinging bridges, Deep Forest Challenge is exactly what its title claims: A chance to challenge yourself in the trees.
“Most zip-line companies have guides doing everything for you,” says General Manager Jennifer Robinson. “Not here. We teach you how to use the equipment, put you through a preliminary course, watch you use it, and then you’re on your own.”
On your own and 50 feet in the air, I might add. Did I mention adrenaline rush?
Opening its gates in 2012, Deep Forest Challenge seeks to take people out of their comfort zone and embrace their inner monkey.
“As children, we’re extremely curious. Embrace that. Get back to that curiosity as a kid and come out and experience it,” Robinson says. “Swing out of your comfort zone, push yourself in new directions and just go out and see where that takes you.”
Deep Forest Challenge currently offers five different courses available for kids starting at just five years old.
Great for beginners, the Aerial Runway includes:
- Trapper Climbing Ladder
- Three stabilized Andes bridges
- One 512-foot zip line
Super Kid Course
Open to kids ages 5 and older, the Super Kid Course is a low-to-the-ground course (no higher than 5 ½ feet) with a mix of zip lines and challenges.
This course is ideal for people who want to do a little more climbing in their adventure as well as focus on balance and agility. The Discovery Course includes:
- 14-foot. climbing wall
- 10 balance/agility challenges that take you as high as 17 ½ feet above the forest floor.
- Two zip lines
This course is only available to those ages 8 and older.
More than just zip lining, the Adventure Course is a full blend of climbing, ropes courses, zip lines and challenges that will push you out of your comfort zone and test your mental and physical strength. Open to ages 10 and up, this course includes:
- 30-foot climbing wall you must climb to reach the zip course.
- Many suspended bridges built to test agility and balance.
- A cargo net to climb between aerial platforms.
- High-wire tightrope (about 55-feet in the air).
- Six zip lines that take you on speeds of up to 33-feet-per-second.
If you’re looking for an extreme push, killer adrenaline rush and rewarding experience, the Sensation Course is perfect for you. Open to ages 18 and older, this adults only course brings out the yelling Tarzan in everyone. The only way onto this course is by a Jane Swing: Grabbing a rope and swinging 30-40 feet and catching a suspended net. The Sensation Course includes:
- Monkey Ropes: Suspended rope loops you must step on to cross from one platform to the next.
- Cherokee Net: A half net with large spaces big enough to pull yourself through to the next segment.
- Monkey Bridge: A small tightrope bridge that requires you to maneuver around a tree.
- Tryolean Zip Line: A specifically designed zip line designed to be slow enough and that you have to pull yourself along, hand over hand, to the next platform.
- Tightrope Walker: An incredibly loose slack line.
Ready to go and try it? General Manager Robinson says you have nothing to worry about (and it’s true!).
“You can do this, you have this, don’t worry,” says Robinson. “We focus on encouraging people to trust themselves, trust the equipment and let go of all those fears and insecurities they may have.”
Robinson encourages people to come out in groups, such as bachelorette/bachelor parties, company team building or as couples, to grow stronger both individually and as a team. There are special discounts for non-profit organizations, as well as group and military discounts.
If you’d like to bring out your inner monkey, buy your tickets online here.
Deep Forest Challenge
Season Dates and Hours
May 3-June 20: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (weekends only)
June 21-September 1: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (daily)
September 2-28: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (weekends only)
Sensation Course: $59.95 plus tax
Adventure Course: $39.95 plus tax
Aerial Runway: $26.95 plus tax
Discovery Course: $29.95 plus tax
Super Kid Course: $10.95 plus tax (age 17 and under), $9.95 plus tax per accompanying adult.