In February of 2015, Ski Apache became a destination for not only skiing, but an impressive zip line dubbed the APACHE WIND RIDER ZipTour®. Recognized at the time as the highest in the U.S. at 11,500 feet and one of the longest.
With a new Zipline opening June 16, 2015 at Inn of the Mountain Gods, we decided to compare the two experiences. Surely, not everyone visiting Ruidoso will have time for both!
Location: Ski Apache
Top Speed: 60+ mph
Ride-able Distance: 8,890 feet
Longest Segment Non-Stop: 5,280 feet
Starting Elevation: 11,489 feet
Duration: 1.5 hour
Views: Sierra Blanca Mountain
Location: Inn of the Mountain Gods
Top Speed: Up to 55 mph
Ride-able Distance: 2,668 feet
Longest Segment Non-Stop: 2,668 feet
Starting Elevation: 7,185 feet
Duration: 1-2 minutes
Views: Beautiful Lake Mesclero
Wind Rider ZipTour vs. Eagle ZipRider
For those short on time, the obvious winner is the Eagle ZipRider with only a 1-2 minute ride. The Wind Rider takes about an hour and a half for waiting at each platform and safety precautions. The Wind Rider is a three phase descent and lines can slow down the descent on busy days.
Both zip lines can be worth the expense, each offering unique and stunning views of Sierra Blanca and the ski resort below and Lake Mesclalero. Be prepared in winter at both zip lines. While Wind Rider can offer a bird-eye view of fellow skiers and snowboarders below, temperatures can be even colder and the wind can be stronger at the height of the zip line.
Wind Rider vs. Top Zip Lines in the World
While we are satisfied with Wind Rider beating out the smaller, cheaper and slower Apache Eagle ZipRider, we wanted to see how it compared to other top zip lines in the country. Realize, Wind Rider is superior to Angel Fire Resort’s 10,600 foot zip-line, which was recognized as the tallest in the U.S in 2012. Wind Rider also has a much longer segment (5,280 feet vs. 1,600 ft. longest segment) at Angel Fire. It seems the world records of zip lines are constantly changing…
Realize, this was no easy feat. Many ziplines claim to be the tallest, fastest and highest, yet the Wind Rider really does outstrip them all. All, except for a few recent additions to the zip-line record books.
Longest Segment Rank in North America (As of June 2015)
1. ZipRider, Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico at 8,350 feet in its longest segment
2. ZipTrek ECOTours, Whistler Mountain in Canada at 7,000 feet in its longest segment
3. ZipRider Zip Line, Icy Strait Point in Hoonah, Alaska at 5,495 feet in its longest segment
4. Wind Rider, Ski Apache in Ruidoso, NM at 5,280 feet in its longest segment
Highest Elevation Rank in North America (As of June 2015)
1.Wind Rider, Ski Apache in Ruidoso, NM at 11,489 feet elevation
2. ZipTrek ECOTours, Whistler Mountain in Canada, elevation is unknown at this time.