Thứ Sáu, Tháng Sáu 9, 2023
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Swing over the super flower and avoid stepping on the wildflowers

If you’re swooning over a great boom, Skull Canyon Ziplines has a two-way deal for you — the chance to hike private trails through lush wildflower beds and then speed back to the starting point plays on zip lines that zigzag sky-high above fields of golden poppies and sunflowers.

Sure, at $90 to $160 per person—depending on the length of the ride—the experience is more expensive than parking your car and wading through the flowers, but it’s also much nicer for these fragile native plants, not to mention a great opportunity to shade up your social media posts with some special shots.

Yvette Liston, co-owner of the Corona-based company, said don’t intend to use your cell phone to take pictures, especially on the Monster track, which is more than 300 feet above the ground. .

“Most people tend to cling to their loved ones, so they don’t want to hold onto their phones anymore,” says Liston. “And if they drop their phone, their phone is gone. If you drop your phone from 300 feet, it’s hard to know where you dropped it and we have rattlesnakes in the field, so we didn’t want to send our guide out there to find the phone.”

Liston says a wearable camera is probably the best option. Skull Canyon Ziplines rents GoPro for $40 because drones and selfie sticks are definitely banned. Just imagine the consequences if one of the latter gets caught in the zipper….?

Overcome. Hard overcome.

Reservation is absolutely necessary these days, for all the intense interest in the beckoning golden fields. And that interest has only grown this year, because Skull Canyon Ziplines is essentially just a canyon from Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore, home of famous super product in 2019 — and the infamous chaos caused by crowds coming to gawk and take selfies among the lush flowers. The crowd is so bad Lake Elisnore city officials have closed all access to Walker Canyon this February to get away from people.

“How do you ask it? The flowers are beautiful, the view is a nightmare,” Lake Elsinore Mayor Natasha Johnson said at a news conference. Press Conference on February 7, when she recounted the problems caused by “Disneyland-sized crowds” who flocked to the city in 2019 to see wildflowers.

Starstruck poppy fans left their cars cluttered around the city, blocking streets, freeway shortcuts and even the emergency lanes of Interstate 15 as they jostled their way into Walker Canyon, freely climbing the hills to pose among (and trample) the flowers, sometimes tripped and kicked the climber below.

People walking on a trail through wildflowers.

Wildflowers bloom in Skull Canyon as participants swing on vines onto the platform.

(Myung J.Chun/Los Angeles Times)

After Lake Elsinore closed the entrance to Walker Canyon and threatened to arrest those who disobeyed, Liston said some people accused Skull Canyon Ziplines of orchestrating the closure to promote business on the property. their private ownership.

“If only we had that much power,” she said with a laugh. “We are not closing the roads leading to Walker Canyon. Back in 2019, the bloom was like the Wizard of Oz; the flowers are so beautiful it hurts your eyes. People actually did double parking on the highway because they were so scared. Surname [Lake Elsinore] closed it this year because it was a safety issue, but that doesn’t affect us.”

Yvette’s husband, Pete, and his brother, Mike, own 160 acres in Skull Canyon, where the family runs a zipper business along with a separate wholesale incubator that supplies retail. own, the Seven Oaks Arboretum in Corona.

Liston said the family started the zipline business in 2009, when the nursery’s sales slowed. The brothers installed a few zip lines across the canyon to entertain their children and friends, but as more people requested the slide, they decided to try it out as a side business.

On those days, “We’d be happy to be able to work for a few people a day,” says Liston. “After that, it started to get busier and busier, and now we are serving about 300 people a day.”

The turning point came in 2019, when the family realized they could advertise the swing as a way to enjoy wildflowers without stepping on them. “We put it on social media: ‘Fly over the poppies, don’t disturb the poppies.’”

Today, the family has many zip lines, 80 to 300 feet above ground, in the canyon. After everyone has walked to the start of the game—it takes 30 minutes to an hour—it will take about two hours to get down because the zip lines are divided into sections. Those who prefer a slower ride, she says, should opt for the shorter Initial route, where, “if you’re flying through the trees, you’ll go slow enough to pick all the leaves.”

Extreme, she said, is 200 feet above the ground, and Monster is much taller, longer, and faster. And the heavier you are, the faster you fly. Speeds range from 20 to 40 mph, but Liston said those numbers can vary, depending on an individual’s weight or wind conditions. “A girl won’t walk as fast as a 240-pound man,” she said. “The wind against the opposite direction slows you down, the opposite wind makes you go faster.”

A zip-liner sails on wildflowers

Sean Castillo of Los Angeles gets a bird’s-eye view of the amazing boom at the Skull Canyon Zipline in Corona.

(Myung J.Chun/Los Angeles Times)

20 to 40 mph doesn’t sound too fast, “but the first time you do it, it’s definitely a leap of faith,” Liston said. “If this is your first time, I recommend trying to stick with your tour guide who is hooking you up to the cable. Look them in the eye and say, ‘I’m fine, right?’ I’m totally hooked, aren’t I?’” She laughed.

“Actually, it was fun, and we’ve never had a fall — the insurance people wouldn’t like that. But the first trip is always the hardest or the scariest.”

The canyon is only open to those who book in advance to ride. Some people tried to sneak into the property to wander through the poppy fields, but Liston said they scare people away by reminding them that A, they’re trespassing on private property, and B, where snakes are bell tail crawling.

A zip-liner looks down on wildflowers.

Orange County’s Sarodge Dechgan offers a bird’s-eye view of the amazing blooms at the Skull Canyon Zipline. He said he didn’t want to drive to Lancaster and that the local canyons were closed to visitors so this experience was a good choice.

(Myung J.Chun/Los Angeles Times)

Those who want to play zip liner need to know a few rules:

  • Everyone is weighed before they ride. Riders must weigh no more than 250 pounds, and they must weigh at least 60 pounds to ride the Start track—the slowest ride, generally recommended for beginners and kids—or at least 100 pounds to ride the Extreme and Monsters. Liston says the weighing is private — only employees can see the scale, and no one calls out the numbers. “The wires are sturdy enough to hold 5,000 pounds, but our insurer puts a cap at 250.”
  • Uphill walking is mandatory to the beginning of each line. Hiking trips take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the trip, along trails that wander through poppy fields, but you won’t be allowed to wander the streets. wear or bring any bouquets home. It’s the state flower, says Liston, so we consider the whole natural thing – ‘Don’t walk over them and don’t pick them’.
  • Don’t come without a reservation. Liston says they can only manage so many people at once. Those who do not book in advance will be declined.
  • The rain won’t stop zipline swing, but with 24-hour notice, you can cancel or reschedule at no cost, Liston said. The company will close trips in the event of dangerous weather such as high winds or thunder and will issue refunds or reschedule appointments. “The swing is started in the rain forest, so the rain doesn’t matter, but many people don’t like to drive in the rain to get here,” she said. “Except for the 12-year-old boys — they don’t care. They want to do it rain or shine, and jump in the mud.”
A zip-liner is only visible through a field of wildflowers.

Tracy Dau of Orange County plays the Skull Canyon Zipline in Corona.

(Myung J.Chun/Los Angeles Times)

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