Zip-lining in the Desert: Flightlinez

Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon

Our fearless zip-lining group (I’m on the left). ©JoAnna Haugen

As you might guess from the name of my blog, sporty I am not. But occasionally my thirst for doing new things outweighs my commonsense about my own lack of athletic ability, and off I go. This time: zip-lining with Flightlinez at Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City (about 20 minutes outside of town). I figured it couldn’t be as scary as the time I chickened out on a challenge course at Miraval Spa, and I survived skiing for the first time this past winter (also a what-you-didn’t-know-Vegas-offered excursion)… so let’s go!

The thing I didn’t take into account: the almost hurricane-force winds that roared all night. I shrugged it off — they’ll cancel if it gets too bad, right?! As I soon learned: wrong!

The tricky thing about zip-lining in the wind is that as a complete novice you have to quickly learn what to do when the wind is coming from behind you, and what to do when the wind is blowing towards you. If you get going too fast, you will crash. If you go too slowly against the wind, you can get stuck and have to get rescued.

Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon

The winds were so insane that even one instructor needed a rescue! ©JoAnna Haugen

Me? I managed to crash AND need a rescue in one go: I got going too fast and crashed so hard that I bounced back far enough that I got stuck … and had to get rescued.


Yes, it takes true talent to be as uncoordinated as me!

In the meantime, zip-lining was great. At Flightlinez, you first get to hike up a little bit to the first line, taking in the gorgeous vistas of Boulder City. We went early in the morning so it wouldn’t be too hot. (We made the appointment weeks in advance, before we knew about the winds!) We were all scared about getting stuck, so we were relieved that the first line was steep enough that that wouldn’t happen. We all made it in safely! The second one was less steep and/or against the wind, and we all learned the pencil/French fry flying position to make sure we made it to the end. Only a few of us got stuck! (And for once — not me!)

Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon

Ready… ©JoAnna Haugen

Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon

A relaxed takeoff! ©JoAnna Haugen

The third one was when I crashed and burned.

Luckily, Flightlinez has the best instructors I’ve ever met. They were hilarious, kept the mood light, and one of them even lent me his sweatshirt when I was freezing in the wind. And then on the fourth run, when I was terrified of crashing again, one of them made me a training wheel-type brake to make sure I never got going too fast.

I should change the motto of my blog to, “If I can do it, you can do it.”

Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon

In flight! Emily and Alex. ©JoAnna Haugen

Overall, I loved the experience so much that I added it to my Vegas magazine editor’s letter for the summer. It was great to get off the Strip and get outdoors to do something totally different. The instructors were awesome — they made sure every one of us felt comfortable every step of the way. And we learned from all of the rescues that we were in very capable hands!

Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon

Flightlinez’ hilarious, trustworthy instructors.

Just please don’t tell the guy who made me training wheels that this wasn’t even my first time zip-lining!

Maybe it was different in Costa Rica?

If you go:

Flightlinez at Bootleg Canyon Web site:

Phone number: 702-293-6885

Location: 1512 Industrial Road; Boulder City, NV 89005


Check out the other Vegas bloggers I spent the day with!

Swanky Dietician

Our Daily Tales


Vegas Girl

Kaleidoscopic Wandering


This activity was provided by Flightlinez, but all opinions are my own.

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. I’ll admit, I’ve never considered what would happen if the winds were bad when you went ziplining. Yikes! Sounds like you were in good hands, though, and had fun. The views look pretty good out there in the canyon, too.

  2. I’ve never thought that zip-lining would be my thing, but you may have inspired me with the “If I can do it….” motto. Looks like a wonderful place to try it.

  3. I zip lined in Costa Rica and it was such a contrast in scenery compared to your desert adventure. I’m sure they were both equally as fun 🙂

  4. I had no idea you could get stuck zip lining – it sounds harder than I thought!

  5. This looks like a blast. I love that you know you’re not a super athletic person but always try things out anyway. I wish there was a photo of your rescue though!

  6. I did a zipline in Ecuador, it was fun but I’ll never do one again. It was so scary.

  7. The one time we went ziplining (in the Smokey Mountains) we loved it! But since I’m pretty small (less than 100 lbs), I had some problems making it to the end of some of the lines… and just languished in the middle for a time. Whoops!

  8. I would totally do this! I love ziplining!

  9. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s been stuck! Zip-lining was fun. After doing it in Costa Rica and being so scared on the hanging bridges between zips, I never thought I’d do it again. Never say never, I guess!

  10. So much fun!!! I had a blast with you! And you got the hang of it. The wind wasn’t in our favor though, that’s for sure!

  11. ‘Twas a tad bit windy but a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing the experience with me!

  12. I 100% want a go at that.

    Maybe more.

    I also think it would form a most excellent part of a paintballing session. Can someone do that? Let’s do that.

  13. That looks like fun. I have done short zip lines but nothing like that. I will have to try it on my next trip to Vegas.

  14. Congrats on doing this despite your fears! I finally went zip lining in Costa Rica and loved it. I can’t believe how professional the setup in your photos looks compared to the setup in Costa Rica… I’m glad I didn’t see this first!!!! 🙂

  15. Aww! I still haven’t gone ziplining. For some reason I couldn’t bring myself to do it when we were in Ecuador. There is just a red flag about doing something like that in Ecuador…

  16. haha I love the idea of naming your blog “If I can do it, you can do it”. MY KIND OF ROLE MODEL. 🙂

  17. I did ziplining in Costa Rica, and I would think this would be much scarier. At least in Costa Rica, there is a bunch of foliage below you, and the trees sort of block the view so you don’t know how far up you are.

  18. I’m sufficiently lacking in any athletic ability, but zip-lining looks like something even I could manage/not screw up! Sounds like fun.

  19. Aw bless! Good on you for trying, and entertaining us with the story 🙂

  20. Must be truly a great experience. Not really looking at having it though 😛

  21. Love zip-lining. You would think when it is that insanely windy that they would postpone. The views you had look pretty sweet!

  22. My daughters zip-lined in Costa Rica, but I wimped out and visited a coffee plantation instead.

  23. I ziplined in Costa Rica and it was absolutely amazing fun. I must do it again!

  24. Fun! I love zip-lining. It feels like your a bird. So free and fun! I’ve zip-lined in a few places around the world such as Paraguay, Canada and Costa Rica. Costa Rica was definitely my favorite. I was actually able to film myself zip-lining through the clouds on a 1 KM zip-line and not drop my camera. haha. Check out my video:

  25. Wow, love zipline! I did it for the first time in Mexico from 140 m height and I was freaking out 😀

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