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 © Rik Engelen
© Rik Engelen



Tuesday, July 10, 2012 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks and Magazine.

Cliffhanger - high thrill in the Rockies


The tallest roller coasters in the world can be found in North America: constructions with 100 metres and more wind their steel tracks way up into the sky. But there are possibilities to scrape the sky and, however, not challenge great altitude differences and long, steep drops. "Cliffhanger”, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park's newest attraction might be the best one.

The new roller coaster is definitely not featuring any superlatives in height, number of inversions or speed, but since it curves alongside the edge of Glenwood Canyon, it has a quite unique attraction to offer. Riders can have a great view over Glenwood Springs and the Colorado river – from nearly 500 metres above them. The track is built on a platform about two kilometres above sea level and therefore billed as the highest-elevated, full-size coaster in North America. The total height of 18.3 metres is definitely not record breaking, but the overview riders will get when rushing through the curves and twists is worth a trip to the Rocky Mountains


Grand opening of the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster

The ride's construction was quite difficult, while the amusement park normally can only be accessed via a gondola ride. "We have three miles of basically a single lane dirt road that gets to the top of this hill," Kelly Bates, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park's Maintenance Manager said, "and it took thirteen semis to transport this ride from where it was at previously in Branson, Missouri." Formally located at Celebration City, which closed its gates in 2008 for financial reasons, the track was revised for an over all investment of 800.000 USD, while more than half of these costs flow into the repair and move of the ride.

 © Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
© Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
The Giant Swing does honor to its name
But there are more thrills to experience at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The "Giant Canyon Swing” rockets guests upwards into the sky with up to 80km/h, facing the valley underneath them at the highest point. Furthermore the first alpine coaster in the United States is waiting with its single cars for up to two persons for adventurous explorers, who can control the speed individually by accelerating or slowing-down the carriage, cruising down an alpine slope surrounded by Colorado's gorgeous scenery. Using the great view as well as the extraordinary location, the "Soaring Eagle Zip Ride” and the "Bungee Jump” might scare some of the guests by dropping them several metres towards the river or flying them through the mountains.

The park opened "Wild West Express” for the little ones as a second coaster earlier this year, which, however, is not a big thrill with its height of 3.3 metres. The second addition the the park's ride portfolio in 2012 is a small Ferris wheel, providing a peaceful way to enjoy the outlook. Moreover, a 4D cinema, a maze and an the indoor activity "Laser Tag”, where groups can come together for a shoot-out using the latest in wireless laser technology, wait to be explored.

© parkscout/AM




 




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