Ziplining through the redwoods in Occidental with Sonoma Canopy Tours is one of the best adventures I have had in Sonoma County! Bonus, I got to do it with my son and his fiancé! The adrenaline pumping, scream-inducing 2.5-hour adventure through the redwoods was one for the books for sure!
It all started with a birthday…mine. It fell on a Saturday this year and I asked the kids if they wanted to go with me and with no hesitation, they said yes!
Sonoma Canopy Tours
It was a hot summer morning and we arrived early for our forest flight. When you check-in they do weigh everyone since there is a 250-pound weight limit. Thankfully the digital scale readout is behind the counter! 🙂 From here we were shuttled up to the gift shop and starting point. We were introduced to our amazing guides and given 1 last chance to use the restroom before we were strapped into our safety harnesses for the next 2.5 hours. Safety is definitely high on their list of priorities with comedy a close second!
All strapped into the harness and helmets snug on our heads we walked over to the training area to grab gloves. We were taught on a very low zipline how to control the zipline with stopping (using a leather addition on the glove!) and how to pull ourselves to the other side in case we didn’t make it all the way across the ziplines. It was a great first part so we knew what the sensation of zip lining would be like.
After the group of 8 of us were trained we were shuttled up to the first platform.
The first of the seven ziplines was short and not very fast. So great to introduce us gently to the fun! We were all huddled on the platform watching the guides give instructions. We were always tied off to a cable the entire time but being 200 feet in the air on a platform that wraps around a tree that is swaying with 10 of us on there…was a bit scary!
The second zipline was longer and so much fun! Oh and then the third one was super fast! It was the fastest one! I screamed a lot on this one! The longest zipline of 800 ft was my favorite. You fly through the forest with views of the canyons beyond and feel like you are flying! We had to curl our legs up and lean back like doing a cannonball into the water, just on an 800 ft long zipline. So fun!!
Now that we were all used to the zipline process we kept going smoothly. Then there was a short zipline over to the spiral staircase and most important, water. My throat was parched from all the screaming! The spiral staircase was a little unnerving for me to walk up but we were all doing good. Then the sky bridges. Oh dear. The first one seemed like it took forever. I went just after our guide and kept telling him to hurry up because I just wanted to run across and get to the other side! 🙂 My son had his GoPro on at this point and was the last to cross. It was enlightening to see what he was focusing on as he crossed. We had 2 scary sky bridges to cross and then our final zipline.
The final zipline crosses over the starting point where other groups were getting strapped into their harnesses and receiving training. Our guides, being the jokers they are, told us there was a pink flamingo hidden somewhere in the trees. None of us saw it. But some of us did holler down to the other groups “our guides are better than yours!”, which they probably were. They were amazing!
All good things must come to an end. We had one final adventure. Being lowered down on a pulley system from 60 ft in the air. It was a beautiful way to end the zipline adventure as you drop down from being in the trees back down to reality.
Would I do this again? Absolutely! Would you go ziplining or have you gone?
Make your reservations ahead of time and go with a group of people you know you can have fun with! Wear shoes that won’t fall off. Do NOT drink too many liquids prior to going on the zipline. Wear shorts long enough to cover everything as you are in a harness for 2.5 hours and some chaffing can happen. Jeans would probably be best to avoid this as some of the ladies had thin workout pants and were a little uncomfortable toward the end. You can leave your purse, keys, etc. at the gift shop in a secure place so you don’t have to carry anything with you.
Watch the videos on Sonoma Canopy Tours website before so you know what to expect. It is an incredible experience!
We did the Forest Flight Tour so we could be in the trees. Would love to do the Tree Tops Tour and see how it compares. You are higher up!
Highly recommend taking or renting a GoPro! It was worth having the video and pics for memories! (you receive an SD card from the rented GoPro to keep)
Things We Love
Hands down I have to say having the GoPro Hero 5…or any GoPro was so great. You have gloves on the entire time and are high up on the platforms and ziplining with a harness on so carrying a camera or cell phone is difficult. Sonoma Canopy Tours have straps for your helmets to attach your GoPro or rent it from them. It’s so worth it and I am so happy to have these memories! We use our GoPro a ton on our adventures. GoPros are meant to be easy to use and are super durable for any adventure you go on!
Where Else Can You Find Us?
Don’t forget to check out the video of the zip lining fun on our Hike Then Wine YouTube Channel! Turn the volume down if you don’t want to hear all the screaming and laughing! 🙂