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So How Exactly Does Soaring Do What It Does?

a large tree in a forest

When Denny bought the Soaring zipline property at just 19 years old, the future of our business was open to his creation. His dream was to build and operate a Five Star resort.  Within a few years, his dream became a reality with the opening of the Tall Timber Resort. Denny and his wife Judy operated Tall Timber for over 40 years. Tall Timber quickly became a renowned resort where lively vacationers would come to get away from the hustle and bustle of cities. To entice children, and even grandchildren, of original Tall Timber guests to continue to return to the resort each year, Denny and his son Johnroy created an add-on activity to the resort so unique that it would be a stand out like none ever seen in the U.S. Based on Johnroy’s childhood trac pulley system between his two tree houses, they masterminded a zipline course – the first in the US – set into the Ponderosa pine and Aspen forest landscape.

The Soaring bird is placed strategically throughout the course and on our tree platforms.

The resulting adventure course was so successful that they expanded it to those beyond the resort guests. The course was opened to the public: the people who rode the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad each day through Soaring property could now experience this unique zipline adventure. The activity was so unique and so spectacular that Denny and Johnroy quickly realized it was time to transition Tall Timber into Soaring Tree Top Adventures. The idea was this: Make Soaring into a full-time, all-inclusive, zipline course that catered to guests from all walks of life – retain the resort-like service, which the family had provided since 1972, and transform the product. And that’s exactly what they did.

Soaring Tree Top Adventures champions a state-of-the-art course that has guests raving for years after. Established in 2004, Soaring operates over 27 ziplines, serves four-course gourmet meals, and upholds top-notch guest services.

So how exactly does the Durango zip line course work? Soaring is based on a “tree-hugging” system, patented by Johnroy Beggrow, in which helicopter-grade stainless steel cables wrap through oak blocks which “hug” the trees in a raised wrap system. This ensures that the trees are not pierced by bolts or harmed by braces that could restrict their growth or natural processes. The cables used on the course are made of the same wire which makes up helicopter long lining. The use of these cables creates a smoother, safer, and more weather-resistant ride.

a large tree in a forest

The “tree-hugging” system used to secure our ziplines.

Soaring also utilizes a patented “self-braking” system – achieved using a proprietary formula including the heights of the platforms combined with the exact amount of tension in the cables – which slows guests to a gentle stop at the end of the zipline. For this reason, guests on Soaring’s ziplines do not need gloves or helmets as they soar.


The harnesses used here at Soaring rely on a Petzl-brand trac pulley-carabiner combination that lets our guests soar securely from tree to tree – once off the ground guests are always attached to the system. Our guests can reach speeds of over 30 miles per hour! Last but certainly not least, the Soaring structure relies on our wonderful Sky Rangers, or Soaring’s zip line guides. Their skill and precision to send and receive each guest in the trees allow our guests to be sent between our trees while keeping them completely safe as they enjoy the views and learn about the surrounding old growth Ponderosa Pine Forest.

We can’t wait to see you all soon to learn more about the structure behind Soaring’s ziplines!


a man riding a horse in a forest

One of our guests soaring safely over the river!