The Canopy Adventure at Telluride Golf and Ski Resort in Telluride, Colo., will celebrate its grand opening on June 19, a year later than planned. The Adventure was built during 2019 with a projected 2020 opening, but the pandemic put that plan on hold.
Designed and built by Bonsai Designs, the Canopy Adventure features five zip lines up to 1,800 feet in length, at heights up to 210 feet off the ground. Coupled with two aerial bridges and two rappels, the canopy adventure “gives people an opportunity to experience the mountain in a new way,” says mountain operations director, Scott Pittenger. The tour starts at nearly 10,800 feet in elevation and descends toward the resort’s mid-mountain Mountain Village at 9,500 feet. And that’s still 800 vertical feet above the town of Telluride.
The installation was a bit of a challenge due to the alpine terrain and the resort’s environmental goals. “We wanted to take a holistic approach to the build and really be stewards of the forest around us,” says Pittenger.
“Bonsai did a great job utilizing the natural topography of the Telluride Ski Resort,” says Noah Sheedy, who oversees Canopy Adventure operations. “The result is a great mix of epic views of the ski resort and surrounding mountains and a feeling of being in the forest and among our canopy.” The tour will take approximately three hours to complete, including gear-up, a scenic chairlift ride up to the course, and a short UTV ride from the final line back to Mountain Village.
In an unusual twist, the course uses hand braking as the primary system, with Head Rush ZipStops as the secondary system. “We wanted this to be an immersive experience,” says Pittenger. “This allows guests to really engage with the zip line.”
Originally brought to market offering private tours for groups of up to six, the resort is now offering individual bookings as well. “We did initially go to market with only private tours to be conservative about potential Covid restrictions this summer,” says Sheedy. The Adventure operates daily through Sept. 19, and then weekends through Oct. 3 (weather permitting).