Palmer zipline park takes visitors to new heights
The highly anticipated adventure course is officially open to the public
PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Nestled in the hills of Lazy Mountain — surrounded by fields of farmlands and quiet mountain peaks — people are harnessing up, clipping in, and grabbing hold to “Ride The Midnight Sky” as Alaska Zipline Adventure Park is officially open for business.
Katie and Sloan Sunderland jumped at the opportunity to purchase an old 1950s grain farm a few years back after walking through a canyon on the property and realizing it would be the perfect place to zipline.
“This was a farm that some friends of ours had years ago and it sold a couple of times and we’d always been interested in it,” Sloan Sunderland said.
The last time the property went on the market, the Sunderlands decided to move on it, breaking ground on the park last July.
The old farm site sits just below their Sunderland Ranch — a family-owned, working farm that offers trail rides, tours, lodging, and camp programs for youth. The Sunderlands are still in the process of converting the farm’s original structures into the park’s basecamp buildings, but the ziplines are open.
When visitors arrive at the course, they are greeted and briefed by guides before getting fitted for harnesses and helmets. The guides then drive groups out to the first tower in a custom-built tour vehicle before doing a final check of each guest’s gear.
From start to finish, clients can experience six different ziplines and traverse three separate suspension bridges — all while enjoying panoramic views of the Chugach Mountains that make the Matanuska Valley so memorable.
“Once you take a step on the first platform at AZAP, you don’t touch the ground for over 4,000 feet,” Sloan Sunderland said. “That’s going through all the courses, all the lines, all the walking bridges.”
Guests will soar at heights up to 255 feet and zipline at up to 45 mph. It is the state’s first all-tandem zipline course, meaning friends and family members get to ride side by side.
“There’s a huge benefit because rather than putting your kid or your family on there and trying to talk them into going on a single line by themselves, you get to sit on the opposite line,” Sloan Sunderland said. “They get to go together, they get to talk them through it.”
Currently, the zipline course is running seven days a week, with booking available online through the end of September, but the Sunderlands said they’re going to see how this first season goes before possibly extending the dates.
“We’re going to plan on running through September and just play it by the Alaskan weather just see what happens.”
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