You’ve surprised the kids with news of a vacation. Between the flight and the lodging, you’re already paying quite a lot of money for this trip, so you’re looking for low-priced to mid-priced activities to keep everyone entertained. Ziplining is one activity you’d like to do, but how much should you expect to pay per ride?
The average cost to zipline is $50 to $300. The price depends on where you go ziplining, the duration of the ride, and the age of your party, as reserving a child will cost less than it does for an adult.
We’re sure you have yet more questions about zipline prices, and we’re here to answer them. In this guide, we’ll provide more than a dozen examples of real zip line costs so you can decide where this fun, sky-bound sport fits into your vacation budget!
How Much Does It Cost to Go Ziplining?
When it comes to activities that will make the whole family smile, ziplining is at the top of the list. Children as young as seven years old are often allowed on zip-lining courses, although many commercial courses will require an adult to ride with them at that age.
If your tweens or teens often balk at your attempts to foster family togetherness, they’ll enjoy zip lining as well. It’s an exciting sport yet it’s not so exhilarating that you’re scared for your safety or that of your kids. Plus, you have many opportunities to take photos and/or videos of your zip line rides so you can relive the memories for years to come!
Best of all, zip lining is often fairly priced. Depending on where you look, you can book a ride for as low as $50, sometimes even $30. No, those aren’t discounted prices either. For what you’re paying, the entire zip line experience might last an hour, and that includes orientation and training.
More expensive zip line rides are between $200 and $300. At these higher rates, you’re typically zip-lining at very well-known locations. Your day might include a zip line ride and then a tour so you’re getting more bang for your buck.
The Average Cost to Zip Line (with 14 Real Examples)
Rather than talk in hypotheticals, we thought we’d provide you with a comprehensive list of what it costs to go zip lining throughout the United States and beyond. These prices will give you a better idea of what you might pay in your home state or where you’re vacationing.
- Wildplay, Jones Beach State Park, New York – $44.99 for a ride on a three-level zip line course lasting 90 to 120 minutes
- Grand Canyon West, Arizona – $45 for general admission, $39 for zip lining
- Flightline Safari, San Diego Zoo, California – $308 for a group of four; the entire experience lasts an hour, including training
- Hidden Valley Ski Resort, Wildwood, Missouri – $80 for a zip line ride that lasts an hour and a half to three hours
- Smoky Mountain Ziplines, Gatlinburg, Tennessee – $89.95 per person
- SlotZilla, Fremont Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada – $25 to $45
- Maui Jungle, Hawaii – $139
- Vigilante Extreme Zipliner Experience, Branson, Missouri – $32.45 for a half-mile zip line ride
- Ocoee Rafting, Ducktown, Tennessee – $54.99 per person for an hourlong tour, $89.99 per person for a two-hour tour
- Virginia Beach, Virginia – $60.52 for 90 minutes
- Koloa Zipline, Kauai, Hawaii – $166 for three hours
- Xplor Water Park, Cancun, Mexico – $59 for children and $119 for adults
- Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour, North Plains, Oregon – $65 for children, $75 for adults, and $65 for seniors
- Spencer Valley Zip Lines, Redwood, New York – $30 for one zip line ride and $50 for unlimited rides
The Factors That Influence Zip Line Costs
If you’re wondering why some zip line companies charge as low as $33 and others cost more than $300, it comes down to a variety of factors. We touched on some of these in the intro, but let’s talk about them in more detail now.
If you look at the prices to go zip lining somewhere like Ducktown, Tennessee versus Cancun, you’ll notice that the activity is considerably more expensive in Mexico. The reason? Ducktown, as nice as it is, is an extremely small city with only 475 residents as of 2010. It’s not exactly a vacation destination.
Everyone wants to go to Cancun, so zip line companies can afford to charge more. This is supply and demand in action.
Resort vs. Park
When you visit a resort or another attraction such as a zoo or casino, you should expect to pay more to zip line at these places compared to a park. If it’s a resort that offers zip-lining, then you’re probably already paying for lodging. In the case of a zoo, you’d have to pay the general admission fee to get in, then spend more money to go zip-lining.
Some parks might have admission fees as well, but not all. You’re usually paying only for your zip lining experience.
Age of the Rider
Kids are always less expensive than adults, whether that’s at a restaurant, a movie theater, or at an amusement park. It’s no different when zip-lining. Some commercial courses might charge all riders the same price, but many more will shave off $20 or $30 for a child rider.
Duration of the Ride
We do want to stress that even if a commercial company says your zip line ride is an hour, the zip lining part itself is not an entire 60 minutes.
You have to be introduced to the equipment and even trained on how to use it. Between that and transportation to and from the course, which may be factored into your time, less than half of your allotted hour is for zip lining. There are exceptions, such as Spencer Valley Zip Lines in New York, which claims to offer unlimited zip line rides.
If you’re paying for a three-hour guided tour, then you’ll get more time on the zip line. It only makes sense then that the expense for a longer ride is going to be higher than if you booked an hour of zip lining.
Is It Less Expensive to Pay for a Commercial Zip Line Ride or Buy a Zip Line Kit?
Hmmm. You’ve looked over your budget again and while you can afford to pay $60 to $100 to go zip lining, anything more expensive than that would be too costly for you right now. Maybe you should skip the zip lining entirely while you’re on vacation and buy a zip line kit for the kids when you get back. Would that be cheaper?
Not in the slightest. We wrote about the price of a DIY zip line kit here. The lowest price you’re going to find a kit offered for is around $100. Those zip line kits are intended for very young riders, like children around five or seven years old. Older kids, teens, and adults might weigh too much for these inexpensive zip line kits. The ride would also be very boring for these age groups.
Once you get into the more exciting zip line kits, you’re looking at prices of around $600 or $700, even $1,000. The reason you’re paying so much is for the quality of the materials. These zip line kits will include durable trolleys (the zip line seat), more complex harness systems for your security, and turnbuckles for customizing the cable tension.
Besides spending more money on an amateur zip line kit, you also have to dedicate a lot of time to build it. No, the zip line kit does not come preassembled.
You’d have to find trees in your yard that can support the appropriate amount of horizontal force (usually around 3,000 pounds) for zip lining. The trees would also have to be the right diameter (at least 12 inches).
If you don’t have any trees in your yard, or if the trees are too skinny or weak to be used as a zip line post, then you’d have to add your own supports. This would entail you buying metal or wooden posts, hammering them into the ground, and then pouring concrete.
As we’re sure you can imagine from our description, installing a zip line kit is not a project you can complete in an afternoon. You’d probably have to dedicate at least a weekend to getting everything done.
Amateur ziplines are also not as safe as commercial ziplines because they’re not required to be inspected by state or local bodies. You want your family to have fun above all else, but they must do it safely. You’re better off spending your money on a commercial zip line ride!
Ziplining is a more inexpensive activity than you might have thought, with the cheapest rides available in some parts of the US for around $35 and the costlier rides costing $300. You’re certainly paying less than you would building your own amateur zip line kit at home, plus, commercial ziplining is usually safer. Why not treat your family to a zip line ride today?