Trip Recommender

Find Your Perfect Adventure

Ziplining When You’re Afraid of Heights

person zipping in Buena Vista

A healthy fear of heights is something that has plagued humanity for ages. Mild fear of heights is one of the most common fears, with about 3% to 6% of the population suffering from acrophobia, an intense fear of heights.  

About everyone has had the pleasure of experiencing wretched vertigo and sweaty palms that parallel the offsetting butterflies in their stomach at least once in their lifetime.

I remember accidentally gazing over a canyon’s edge during a car ride, or forgetting I was too old to hop on that roller coaster with the kids, it happens; however, experts say exposure is the best medicine for fear of almost everything! 

person's feet hanging over ledge

A guided zipline trip can be one of the best ways to confront this fear. Not only is ziplining fun, can help boost your mood, and gets you outside into Colorado’s beautiful outdoors, but it can help you conquer this fear. With AVA’s expertly trained guides, history of excellence, safety, and fun platforms built right into the trees you will be flying and laughing before you remember to even look down!

For 25 years, AVA’s highly trained specialists have ushered thousands of people per year across the Rockies on their two unique mountaintop courses. What a memorable and extraordinary way to face your fear!  

Zip guide having fun


AVA is the #1 ziplining company in Colorado. AVA prioritizes safety and is committed to creating a tailored experience for each person that steps onto their platforms. Each guide undergoes extensive training before leading your zipline course. Additionally, platforms have been built to adhere to strict industry regulations, and gear is regularly inspected.  

harness and gear system

When you arrive, your guide will make you feel comfortable by walking you around the equipment and process of ziplining in detail, providing as much support and guidance as you need. Ziplines use a continuous belay system that keeps your harness securely attached to the cable. This means that you will always be attached to a stable part of the course.  

If you are afraid of heights, please let your guide know; they are trained in leading everyone through the trees and likely have some tips up their sleeve to mitigate any anxieties. They know what to do if you need a little preflight pep talk, and guides love what they do, always happy to help out AVA’s guests.

girl zipping through trees

As you cascade through the treetops, you will hear your lovely guides’ voices shouting words of encouragement. So, take a couple of deep breaths as you ascend the steps and keep your eye on the prize. The thrill you will feel as the cool breeze rushes by and you watch the trees soar past will make it all worth it! 

Rest assured that you are safe, and in the best hands throughout your height-conquering tour! 

Your Trip

Now that we know this is going to be a safe and controlled environment with the best guides in Colorado, it is also important to know what comes next. You will meet up with the rest of your party (or others zipping at that time) at the base in either AVA’s Cliffside Zipline course in Idaho Springs or Mountaintop Zipline in Buena Vista.

back of two girls ziplining

The minimum age is six, so do not be surprised if you see a few younger ones gearing up with you. As you begin assembling your helmets and harnesses, you will be greeted by the staff and given a thorough safety briefing. This is the time to ask questions! Ask as many questions as needed and let the staff know that you are afraid of heights.  

Once your mind is at ease, the buzz of excitement should be palpable. You will take a quick drive, and hike to the starting location. Then comes the BEST part: the first platform. Standing there, you will take deep breaths of the crisp mountain air preparing for your initial leap.

Both AVA’s courses are built directly into the Rocky Mountain cliffsides, versus platforms from the ground, affording astounding views, no matter which course you choose! 

person zipping in Buena Vista

Once on the first platform, you will be surrounded by lush evergreen forests. Look up and off into the distance and notice the unmistakable jagged and snowcapped beauty of the mountains. Here you go! The big Jump! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt…  Like a bird in flight, you soar, unable to feel anything but the rush of adrenaline. The 6-7 platforms will be over before you know it, so savor each of them! 

Once you reach the last stand, you will be so happy you took the leap into this big adventure. As you make the journey back, everyone celebrates this accomplishment with camaraderie, high fives, and the sharing of battle stories. Thousands of people every year pay a visit to AVA’s Ziplining courses to conquer their fear and have an incredible experience filled with indelible memories. 

Zipline with Kids Colorado

More Tips

Fear is a powerful emotion. The guides at AVA know a ton about it! They will help you acknowledge it so you can analyze that feeling a little closer during your visit.  

There are a ton of strategies out there that can help with getting over your fear. If it is heights that you are afraid of, feel free to take it a little slower. It can help to acclimate to the idea of being high above the ground. Expose yourself in small doses, so you can gradually desensitize yourself.

Your guide will be present the entire time to help you build your confidence. Once you make it to the top, do not give up there. Try to stay relaxed and envision yourself at the bottom, triumphant!  

A woman with her legs crossed mid zipline

Take some deep breaths, with your eyes closed if you need to, and approach your first leap with a confident mindset. Some people like to prepare themselves by repeating an affirmation such as “I am in control,” “I am strong,” or “I got this” to reduce anxiety. As you glide through the air, never forget to focus on the positives! You are in a gorgeous place, you are safe, and nothing is holding you back. 

Now that you know all the ins and outs of ziplining and your fear of heights, remember, overcoming it is attainable. One step is all it takes to bust out of your comfort zone. After your tour is complete, and you hop into the car, I hope you can take a little token of strength and confidence with you as you approach whatever challenge you take on next! 

woman ziplining over a river with orange, yellow and green fall foliage everywhere

Don’t just take my word for it, read what others have to say about their AVA guides and conquering this tree top adventure! 

First Time Zipliners! – Review of AVA Rafting & Zipline, Buena Vista, CO – Tripadvisor 

First time zip lining – Review of AVA Rafting & Zipline, Buena Vista, CO – Tripadvisor 

Zipline am and Rafting pm was great. Anthony, Erica, and Shayna are great guides. – Review of AVA Rafting & Zipline, Buena Vista, CO – Tripadvisor 

 Written by Melanie Hamilton, Contributing Member of the Sales and Marketing team

Edited by Rosa Canales, Marketing Specialist


The Latest

woman holding sapling in dirt

How to Get Outside this Earth Day