If you’ve been to the top of Heavenly this summer to explore our challenge courses, zoom down one of our zip lines, or simply soak in the gorgeous view on the scenic Gondola ride, then you’ve probably spotted some areas of upturned dirt, erected scaffolding and other signs of progress.
Launching in summer 2016, Epic Discovery at Heavenly is an all-encompassing program designed to connect kids and families with the national forests in an active, fun and engaging way. A few of the activities that fall under this umbrella are currently under construction, with most of their opening dates depending on the construction timeline, official certifications and write-offs from the proper entities, and proper staff training.
The first couple of construction areas you’ll see when you disembark the Gondola will be a kids-specific zip line and ropes course. Gear toward smaller children, this kid-sized, 150-foot-long zip line is the perfect intro to adventure. The kids’ ropes course will be a smaller version of the three existing larger ropes courses and provide ample challenges for younger guests. It is located in the treed area between the Gondola and the bottom of Tamarack Express.
Directly west of the kids’ fun zone and south of Tamarack Lodge, is the permanent rock climbing wall. The 35-foot-tall climbing wall will feature 18 defined climbing routes with automatic belay systems and a quick-jump 35-foot rapid descent that emulates free-falling.
As you meander toward the tubing hill, you’ll see the construction on the alpine coaster taking place to the north and west of the tubing hill. The alpine coaster, which allows guests on individual sleds to descend on a raised track through the forest and natural rock formations, utilizes gravity for the descent while giving riders full control of their speed.
For construction, that’s pretty much it that you’ll be able to view from up on the mountain. That doesn’t mean that that’s it. Over the ridgeline directly behind Tamarack Lodge and north of the Gondola, the mid-station zip line canopy tour, an interpretive zip line canopy tour is starting to undergo construction. The tour, which will incorporate the use of zip lines and aerial walkway bridges, provides scenic views of Lake Tahoe in a quiet and secluded forested area between the top station of the Gondola and the Gondola mid-station deck.
A central component of Epic Discovery is the interpretive learning program, currently under development with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, the League to Save Lake Tahoe and The Nature Conservancy, with the goal of bringing nature-based and learn-through-play content to eco-discovery experiences. The interpretive learning program will share the area’s rich natural environment and cultural history with guests using fun and informative learning techniques.
Yes, there’s a lot of exciting things on the horizon for Heavenly in the summer. We hope you’ll join us for the journey!