New Extreme Adventure Course Opens in Flagstaff
By: Natasha Reeves
Spend a day playing in the trees, skateboarding more than 30 feet off the ground and jumping from log to log in the new Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course.
The new park opened this spring at Fort Tuthill County Park. The park is set up with four different courses, green being the easiest course and black being the hardest. Each is filled with different obstacles such as rope swings and wobbly bridges.
The course contains a variety of games. In one such challenge, participants would attempt to jump on a moving wooden skateboard. In another, visitors would scale a miniature climbing wall before ziplining to the finish line.
Some of the courses within the park are specifically geared toward children.
“Once you complete the course, it’s almost a rite of passage, because for a lot of people — even if you’re not afraid of heights — it puts you out of your element,” said Rob Arnold, one of the guides at the park. “We want it to be something fun to do, but also an accomplishment.”
The highest course is 60 feet, high enough to feel the trees sway back and forth if it is windy. With this in mind, the park has put in place several safety precautions. Guests are always hooked to a harness and safety wire. There are safety guides all throughout the park who can come and rescue anyone who feels uncomfortable on the courses. The guides can also help you decipher the next obstacle. There is a 30-minute training session before you start on the green course, so people are aware of the safety rules. The park offers gloves to those who find that they are getting blisters during the course, and provides hooks so that customers can bring water bottles with them to remain hydrated. While the park wants visitors to remain safe, the staff stresses that they still want people to have a good time.
Recent customer Alexa Stroh described her experience as being exuberant and different. “I expected to be freaked out by the heights, but I felt really safe because of the safety cables,” Stroh said. “I picked up on the course easily. It was fun and good exercise.”
The course is made for participants to feel an adrenaline rush from the heights so that they can push through all of the obstacles.
“When you are concentrating on balancing across a bridge or climbing up one of the obstacles you rarely ever notice the heights,” Stroh said.
The courses create a social environment as well. Many participants are put together in large groups to go up onto the courses. It becomes easy for strangers to converse and help each other on the course. There is something about being high up in the air facing vigorous, physical games that makes it easier to bond with others; especially when you need help or get stuck on a challenge.
There are only one other park like the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course in the United States; the other park is located in New York. French and Canadian engineers helped create the park. Paul Kent, the owner and creator of the park, found Flagstaff to be the perfect place with its tight community and pleasant year-round weather.
Kent was inspired by a similar park in New York called Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course. “I visited a park like this one in New York and I’ve always loved outdoor active fun including making zip lines for my kids, etc.” Kent said. “This was a way to get people off the couch and into the trees and see nature’s beauty.”
The Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course is a unique experience that is perfect for people of all ages. From large groups to a couple, anyone can come and try inching across a rope or climbing up a net right after getting off a zip line.