- Published: Sunday, 01 July 2012 17:00
- Written by Mary Anne Been
By Mary Anne Been
Canopy tours make most people think of remote jungle destinations like Puerto Rico or Costa Rica, but believe it or not, Los Angeles has one right in its backyard.
Wrightwood, CA is about a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles and is one of the premier snow-sport resorts for California skiers and snowboarders. Now it's also a top adventure destination. Recently I was invited to do a canopy tour with Navitat Canopy Tours in the San Gabriel Mountains.
I’ve lived here all my life and have done many “So Cal” activities, including zip lining in Catalina, but I have yet to take a tour like this one before.
Navitat is a company based on the idea of educating people while doing something fun. During 10 zip lines, three short hikes, four sky bridges and three rappels, you will learn all about the native trees and plants, the animals in the area, how Navitat built their canopy tour, and why they are 100-percent dedicated to preserving the environment.
Jason and I had an absolute blast flying more than 360 feet in the air across the tops of Ponderosa pines with the birds and the wind. Some of the zip lines are so long you can take your time to look around at the massive view. Wrightwood is right near the San Andreas Fault, and at one point you cross right over it and change continental plates (science nerd).
Navitat is open from April 1st to November 30th and closes during extreme winds and lightning storms (according to our guide). I really want to go back and zip over the snow-filled mountains; I bet the view is gorgeous.
Who comes up with these ideas to string zip lines through the pines along the mountains in California? John Walker is the founder and president of Bonsai Design, Inc., the leading designer/builder of canopy tours in the US. Ken Stamps' background lies in landscape architecture. Dylan Burt is the operations manager, and Sam Walker is the financial and legal guy. Together they make a dynamic team of nature activists who are dedicated to preserving their environment while having a great time.