Overcoming all kinds of obstacles at Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course

By Joanna Dodder Nellans

If you suffer from a fear of heights and want to rise above it, this is the place for you.

The Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course (FLG X) features five courses with increasingly challenging obstacles and zip lines, as well as a separate zip line course that’s billed as the largest in the western U.S. with more than 30 lines. Platforms reach heights of 65 feet and zip lines are as high as 70 feet in the ponderosa pine forest.

Most importantly, it’s all in a well-controlled environment with special equipment and rescue guides to keep visitors safe and lead them down to terra firma if they’ve had enough.

“It’s pretty empowering to see what you can do and have fun doing it,” observes FLG X Lead Rescue Guide Hailee Mason. A fear of heights is one of the most common phobias. So it’s not uncommon for people with acrophobia to purposefully sign up for the FLG X courses and zip lines to overcome their fear, she said. Considering the frequency of comments in online reviews, it appears to work.

“I have a fear of heights, I’m even afraid on a stepladder,” wrote Frederick Spica in his five-star Google review. “Was scared and extremely nervous at first, but because of the encouragement, help and patience of my guide Sophie I faced my fears…My hats off to the whole staff, thank you for an adventure of a lifetime.”

That’s the kind of story FLG X Owner Paul Kent loves to hear.

“I love talking to the guests and see them achieve more than maybe they thought they could,” Kent said. “The smiles and laughs and encouragement from friends, family, guides, and random people are my favorite parts.”

FLG X also is popular for team-building exercises and parties, especially since it features a separate Kids Course. It gets about 40,000 visitors annually from all over the world, with many swinging by after a trip to the Grand Canyon. Winter visitors often make time for the neighboring Flagstaff Snow Park to rent tubes for sliding down groomed hills, too. Both are located in Fort Tuthill County Park.

About 20 percent finish all five courses, Course Manager Rachel Buzzard said, earning themselves a free wristband that makes them eligible to buy a Black Course T-shirt.

FLG X is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, so watch its social media for special events and flash discounts.

If you go…

What: Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course (FLG X)

Where: Fort Tuthill County Park in Flagstaff

Hours: Open year-round during the daylight. Hours vary so check the website for current times. The course does not temporarily close for inclement weather unless it’s exceptionally windy or lightning is striking in the region.

Reservations: They’re recommended since the course can sell out on weekends and the summertime. Make reservations online at flagstaffextreme.com or via phone at 888.259.0125 from 9 to 5 daily. Your start time begins with safety training at the demonstration course. Those who finish all five courses average 2-4 hours, while the zip line course averages 2-3 hours.

Price: The $58 Adventure Course (ages 12 and up) includes all five courses; guests are welcome to stop whenever they want. The Adventure Zip Lines (ages 12 and up) also cost $58. The Kids Course (ages 7-11) costs $29. Group rates are available.

Height and weight limits: Minimum height reach of 5’11” for the adult Adventure Course or 4’7″ for the Kids Course (height reach is the distance from your foot to the top of your hand reaching straight up). Maximum weight is 275 pounds.

Refreshments: FLG X offers drinks and snacks for sale. Guests are welcome to bring lunches to eat between courses.

For more information: Go online to flagstaffextreme.com.

Other FLG X locations: Near Tampa, Florida and Ledgewood, N.J.