Big Bear Zipline
If you're heading to Big Bear, California, and looking for something fun to do, book a zipline adventure with Action Zipline Tours. Action Zipline Tours is the only zipline tour in Big Bear. The tour takes about 3 hours from start to finish, and includes a safari jeep type ride to the zipline site. There are 9 different ziplines of length ranging from 120 ft.-860 ft. All the equipment you need is provided by the company. Reservations are not required but are recommended. I recently took this tour on my visit to Big Bear. Here is my review, as well as tips and what you can expect on your Big Bear zipline tour.
Photo Source: Personal Photo
Big Bear is located in the San Bernardino mountains, and is about a 2 hour drive from Los Angeles. It is one of Southern California's premier four-season vacation destinations. With a lake and 2 premier snow ski resorts, Big Bear is the perfect get away anytime of the year. One of the many adventurous things to do in Big Bear is ziplining. Action Zipline Tours is the only zipline company in Big Bear. Their 9 course zipline tour costs $99 per person. The tour is about about 3 hours long and includes all the equipment you need to zipline. I recently went ziplining for the first time. Here is my review and what you can expect if you go ziplining in Big Bear.
The Zipline Action Tours office is on Big Bear Blvd, just a short distance from the lake and the Village Shopping Center. You should arrive about 20 minutes before your tour begins. You will watch a short 2 minute video and be asked to sign a release form. You can not take any personal items with you on the tour, so leave your items in your car or in one of the lockers provided for you. You can not take a camera either. However, there will be a photographer on site taking pictures, which you can purchase at the end of the tour.
The zipline tour begins with a 15 minute van ride up into the mountains. From there you will exit the van and take a 5-10 minute jeep ride on a dirt road to the zipline site. Before you reach the site the jeep will stop at the restrooms.
Once you arrive at the zipline site you will be greeted by 4 tour guides. They are provided for your safety and to make your ziplining tour a fun and memorable experience. All 4 tour guides were friendly and professional. The tour guides will issue your equipment, including gloves and a helmet, and will give you instructions on how the zipline works, how to brake and what the hand signals mean. The photographer will also take an individual photo of your group.
The first zipline is short and not very high off the ground. From there you will cross a suspension bridge to the second zipline, which is a little higher and longer than the first line. There are always 2 tour guides on the platform you leap from and 2 on the platform you zipline to. The guide will hook you up to a safety cable every time you land on a platform. There are a total of 9 ziplines. After the 7th zipline you will get back in the jeep for a 2 minute ride to the final 2 ziplines, which are the longest and fastest of the ziplines.
After the tour you will get back in the jeep and drive back down the dirt road where the vans will be waiting to take you back to the office. Once you arrive back at the office you will be shown a video of all the photos the photographer took on the tour. You can purchase individual photos for $5 each or you can purchase a disk with all the photos on it for $45. We purchased the disk and I think it had about 150-200 photos on it. We were in a large group of 17 people so there were a lot of photos. Your zipline tour group may have as little as 4 people in it or as many as 18.
All in all it was a fun adventure and an experience I will not soon forget. I am not fond of heights so I was a little skeptical of taking this tour and thought I might chicken out at the last minute. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be and I had a great time. I can't wait to go back!
Some Final Thoughts:
Trust the equiptment. The zipline cable is not going to break, so relax and have a good time.
Our group included a 12 year old and an 80 year old grandmother, so ziplining really is for people of all ages.
I am afraid of heights so for me the scariest part of ziplining was standing on the high platforms with 16 other people, but you are hooked up to a safety cable so there is no need to worry. The leap off the platform was a little scary for me too, especially on zipline #8, which is the highest zipline. The ziplining part was fun though. I didn't find that part scary...it was actually quite exhilarating.
Be sure to take a moment to enjoy the views, which are breathtaking. I went ziplining in the summer but I want to go back in the winter when the ground and mountain tops are covered with snow.
If you liked the tour guides you can leave them a tip in the tip jar at the office. I don't know what an appropriate tip is for a zipline tour guide...we left $20.
*Scroll down this page to see more tips and safety information.
Photo Source: Personal Photo
Big Bear, California - 2012
Clothing: Wear weather appropriate clothing. On our tour, some people wore shorts and others wore pants.
Shoes: Wear closed toed shoes. Open toed shoes are not allowed
Hair: Long hair should be tied back.
Sunglasses: It is ok to wear your sunglasses. I wore mine and the helmet kept them in place.
Cameras: You are not allowed to bring your own camera on the tour due to safety precautions. However, there is a photographer on site that will be taking photos of you throughout your tour. You can purchase these photos for $5 per photo or your can buy the entire set of photos on a disk for $45. The disk includes photos of everyone in the group and not just you and your group. We purchased the disk and I think it had about 150-200 photos on it.
Food and Beverages: Food and beverages are not allowed. Water is provided on the tour.
Restrooms: There is a restroom at the office and another one at the zipline site.
Jewelry: You should not wear necklaces, bracelets or dangling earrings.
Lockers: Lockers are provided (free of charge) at the office. You will be asked to place your items in your car or in a locker before the tour begins. You are not allowed to bring cameras, cell phones, wallets or anything else that can fall out of your pocket.
Equipment: All the equipment you need to zipline is provided, including gloves and helmet.
Tour Guides: There were 4 ziplining guides on our tour. Two guides were always on the platform we departing from and two are on the platform we landed on. The tour guides are helpful and friendly. They are there to keep you safe and make it an enjoyable experience for you. They do accept tips, so if you want to tip them you can do so by putting some extra cash in the tip jar when you arrive back at the office.
Release Forms and Safety Video: At the office, and before your tour, you will be asked to sign release forms and to watch a short 2 minute safety video. It is the same video shown below.
Photo Source: Personal Photo
Address: Action Zipline Tours is located at 41647 Big Bear Blvd. Big Bear Lake, California. This is their main office and where you check in before the tour.
Phone Number: (909) 866-0390
Online Reservations: http://www.actionziplinetours.com/reservations.php
- Price - $99 per person (maximum of 18 people per group)
- Times - First tour starts at 8:00 AM. Last tour starts at 3:00 PM.
- Age Requirements - Riders must be at least 8 years old.
- Weight Requirements - 75 pounds is the minimum weight requirement and 260 pounds is the maximum.
This is the same 2 minute video that they have you watch before you take the zipline tour. At the end of the video everyone heads out to the vans for the 15 minute drive up the mountain. Once you arrive at the site you will take a short 5-10 minute ride in a safari type jeep up a dirt road to the zipline site.