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Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course: Arizona’s Ultimate Elevated Experience

Your guide to an adrenaline-pumping, confidence-boosting suspended adventure course in the pines.


Flag X adventure course

Northern Arizona is home to the largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in the world, and while there are many outdoor adventures and attractions that allow you to observe the natural beauty of the pines, nothing quite compares to climbing among them. Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course provides the perfect treetop environment for testing your limits, conquering your fears and having a blast, all while suspended above the forest floor.

 

What is a Suspended Adventure Course?

Suspended adventure courses are simply obstacle courses set above the ground, usually situated in trees or elevated between a series of wooden poles.

 

The History

Obstacle courses, ropes courses and the like have long been used by the military as endurance tests, confidence-building activities, and as part of physical fitness regimens for training soldiers dating back to ancient Greece. But it wasn’t until the late 20th century that such courses started appealing to the masses as recreational and educational endeavors.  

 

Georges Hébert, a French naval officer, is considered by many to have invented the modern day ropes course as part of his “Natural Method” of physical and mental training in the outdoors. He created his program in the early 1900s, and many courses in Europe and French Canada are still considered Hébertism courses.

 

Since the 1980s, modern advances include sophisticated harness and belay systems, increasing safety and allowing more people to participate on the same course at the same time.

 

Zip Lines

Variations of the zip line concept have been used for centuries as a means of transport. But the zip lines we enjoy recreationally today were arguably pioneered in the 1970s by biologist Donald Perry who devised a system to study the tree canopy of the Costa Rican rainforest without disturbing the natural environment. Though Perry saw the technology as public domain and did not pursue commercial use of it, others inspired by him did, creating the first canopy tours for tourists. And the trend spread like proverbial wildfire.


zipline adventure

Zip Line Canopy Tour, Costa Rica


Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course is home to the largest zip line course in the western United States and is the largest suspended challenge course in Arizona. While some adventure courses feature a zip line element here and there throughout a ropes course, FLG X is the whole package: it features not only a suspended obstacle course but a separate course experience consisting entirely of zip lines.

 

Booking ahead of time is strongly recommended because they tend to fill up quickly and often sell out on weekends. The courses operate year-round, rain or shine, except in the case of extreme weather conditions such as lightning, winds above 40mph, and temps below 25 degrees.

 

There are five adventure courses for adults and older children, one course for kids ages 7-11, and, of course, a zip line experience. Before tackling any courses, all participants must complete a training lasting about 30 minutes that educates them on equipment and park rules.

 

Adventure Course

Price: $60/person (plus taxes and fees)

Age Requirement: 12+

Height Requirement: must be able to reach the middle of your palm to a height of 5’11” with feet flat on the ground

Time to Complete: 2.5-3.5 hours, but there is no time limit other than sunset

Waiver: Children ages 12-17 must have a waiver completed by their legal guardian, and children 12-15 must have an adult accompany them on the course (one adult may accompany up to 3 kids).

 

The FLG X Adventure Course takes participants through 5 circuits of 10-17 obstacles each that progressively become more challenging and range from 15-60 feet above the ground. They progress along a color-coded system indicating level of difficulty and elevation and are designed to be completed in a specific order for adaptability and increased confidence as you ascend higher into the trees. The course includes a mix of bridges, ladders, swings, nets, zip lines, climbing walls, aerial skateboards and other suspended “surprises.”

 

Adventure Zip Lines

Price: $60/person (plus taxes and fees)

Age Requirement: 12+

Height Requirement: must be able to reach the middle of your palm to a height of 5’11” with feet flat on the ground

Time to Complete: 2-2.5 hours, but there is no time limit other than sunset

Waiver: Children ages 12-17 must have a waiver completed by their legal guardian, and children 12-15 must have an adult accompany them on the course (one adult may accompany up to 3 kids).

 

FLG X is home to over 30 zip line features across 3 courses ranging in suspension from 15-80 feet above the forest floor. The zip lines are self-guided and participants will navigate bridges and ladders as well as short walks to the course itself and between elements.

 

kids on a aropes course

Kid’s Course

Price: $30/person (plus taxes and fees)

Age Requirement: 7-11

Height Requirement: must be able to reach the middle of your palm to a height of 4’7” with feet flat on the ground

Time to Complete: 1.5 hours. No time limit, but there is a “3 times around” maximum.

Waiver: All participants must have a waiver completed by their legal guardian.

 

Kids are able to complete three full loops of the course. and friends and family can watch and encourage them from the ground.

 

Speaking of watching from the ground, members of your group who will not be participating in the courses can still watch from below for free.

 

The Benefits

Aside from the obvious promises of thrill and entertainment, adventure courses have a number of physical and mental health benefits for those who participate.

 

First and foremost, the courses involve physical activity—an undeniable plus. The variety of suspended obstacles helps with body mapping, increases muscle strength and improves agility, coordination, and balance. Furthermore, the courses test endurance and promote an overall lifestyle of fitness and health.

 

But perhaps the greatest benefits are those affecting the mind and spirit. Increased endorphins from movement improve mood and provide stress relief as well as increased focus and mental acuity. Navigating the obstacles also engages problem-solving and decision-making skills, and, when completed with others, the challenges encourage teamwork and can help improve group communication and strengthen leadership skills.

 

Newton taught us that objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and the same can be said for human beings. His law also teaches that objects tend to stay in one state unless acted upon by an outside force. Thus, engaging in healthy risk taking and stepping outside of your comfort zone may be just the catalyst necessary for change.

 

If an obstacle is, by definition, something that impedes progress or accomplishment, imagine how difficult one becomes when you raise it off the ground. For many, heights make even the simplest of tasks infinitely more frightening and daunting, let alone obstacles designed to be uniquely challenging. Moving from element to element in the trees will no doubt be overwhelming for some. But arguably the most rewarding benefit of all will be the confidence and self-assuredness gained as participants identify, face and overcome fears and weaknesses. Whether you complete one course or all five, the sense of accomplishment that follows is a gift you’ll not soon forget.

 

Last but not least, you’ll be outside, quite literally in the trees. Talk about a fresh perspective. Being in nature and having the opportunity to observe it from such a unique angle has obvious benefits for both mind and body.

 

While You’re in the Area

Just three miles south of Flagstaff, Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course is located in Fort Tuthill County Park, which, in addition to being the home of FLG X, boasts a number of other worthwhile activities great for before or after your aerial adventure or for those in your group who might not be participating in the course itself.

 

Watchable Wildlife

Fort Tuthill is one of 30 sites that are part of the Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience. Their website allows you to download an audio guide specific to the Fort Tuthill area that will teach you about plant and animal life you might see during your visit including the Abert’s squirrel, a critter you’ll no doubt find effortlessly maneuvering through the trees along the adventure course with you (depending on the season).

 

Outdoor Recreation

The park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors both in the trees and on the ground. It has its own trail system that also connects to the Flagstaff Urban Trail System—perfect for walking, running, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There is also a campground and 5 ramadas available by reservation for group events.


bike park near FLG X in flagstaff

Right next to FLG X is the Fort Tuthill Bike Park, a free mountain bike skills park with tracks and elements suited for riders of all levels. Also free is the Fort Tuthill Disc Golf Course and the Equestrian Cross Country Course.

 

The Fort Tuthill Archery Range is primarily used by members of the Flagstaff Archers club. But if you have your gear you can access the range with a day pass purchased at the Coconino County Fairgrounds office.

 

This outdoor venue is the home of the beloved Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival in September and other great bands and performances throughout the year.

 

For winter visits, Flagstaff Snow Park is a great place for passive snow play opportunities as well as groomed tubing runs. Tickets must be purchased online.

 

Military

The park is also home to the Fort Tuthill Luke Airforce Base Recreation Area (military ID required) and the Fort Tuthill Military Museum.

 

Special Events

Known to many locals as simply “the fairgrounds,” Fort Tuthill hosts the Coconino County Fair in September complete with carnival games, rides, vendors, musical performances, and much more. It’s also the home of the Flagstaff Pro Rodeo held in June.  

 

Overland Expos are the premier event series for adventure travelers, and one is held at Fort Tuthill over a weekend in May. Outdoors enthusiasts can take classes, listen to speakers, watch demonstrations, participate in discussions, and visit an expo of hundreds of adventure travel and outdoor equipment vendors.

 

Nearby Attractions


Flagstaff Aerial View

Flagstaff is home to great restaurants, shopping and outdoor recreating opportunities. The Arizona Snowbowl on the San Francisco Peaks is the perfect place to hit the slopes and there are dozens of nearby attractions worth visiting such as the Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon and Lowell Observatory.

 

Environmental Consciousness

FLG X strives to minimize its effect on the beautiful trees and forest floor that host its adventure courses—and that’s right up our alley.


The forest at Backland

At Backland Glamping Resort we hold sacred the outdoor spaces that host our tented suites. As an eco resort we are committed to not only limiting our footprint but actively making a positive impact on our land. We strive to create an experience for our guests that honors that commitment and brings them together with nature in a way that rejuvenates them and inspires a lifelong pursuit of outdoor activities and responsible tourism.

 

Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course is the perfect outdoor activity to add to your Northern Arizona vacation, and since we’re less than an hour away, we would love to be the place you rest up before and after your exhilarating treetop experience.


Backland luxury tents


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