One of the best things about the Pacific Northwest is anyone can get to so many things with just a short drive. Only 30 minutes from Portland, there’s a place where you can almost fly: Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour in North Plains.
“It's super quiet, you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere,” said Julian Avalos, a course manager at Pumpkin Ridge.
Julian and Joel guided my friend and colleague, Brittany Falkers, and I through the treetops for the day. The course has seven zip lines and three bridge crossings in all, along with great views of nearby Brunswick Canyon.
“It's really convenient, a really cool way to just have a day out in the wilderness,” said Avalos. “My favorite part about it is the people who come out here. It makes it different every time depending on the group of people. Whether it's a kid's birthday party, a bachelor party, to someone trying something for the first time.”
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For a two-hour tour, it’s $88 for adults and $78 for kids ages 8-15 and seniors 65 and older. You must be at least eight years old and 60 pounds. If you’re thinking, 'There’s no way I’d ever go on a zip line,' Avalos has seen plenty of people conquer their fears.
“You're going to be proud of yourself,” he said. “If you're nervous about it, I think that makes it even a better experience. Because if you're able to get through it, people tell me they're like, 'Oh wow, I didn't think I can do that.’”
The first platforms are about 15 feet off the ground. At the highest point of the course, you’re about 120 feet up on a platform connected to a Douglas Fir tree. If you’re scared of heights, don’t look down and try to ignore the swaying of the trees.
“The platform is the part that's stable,” said Avalos. “You're moving during ziplining, you're swinging on the bridge, and then when you get to a platform that's moving, that can usually be a bit of a surprise.”
Whether you’re looking for some fresh air away from the city noise or trying to overcome a fear, you’re in good hands. Brittany and I certainly had a “top of the line” kind of day.
Let's Get Out there airs once a week on KGW's 4 p.m. newscast and The Good Stuff, which airs Monday-Thursday at 7 p.m. We're including viewer photos for this series. You can text your photos to 503-226-5088 or post them on the KGW Facebook page.