Big Pines Ziplines

Are you after that 'whoooooooosh!' feeling?? Then get yourselves to adrenaline soaked Big Pines Ziplines in the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains. Just hold on tight!!

I’m headed to Big Pines Zip-lines, 70 miles north in the small town of Wrightwood on the far eastern fringes of the Angeles National Forest. It’s a beautiful area with pine trees, gorges & trails. In winter it’s a popular ski & snowboard resort (Mountain High resort).

As this was a last minute booking we were very lucky as they just managed to squeeze us in for the full 3 hour package consisting of 8 zip-lines, 2 rappels & 3 rope bridge walks. The lovely Sue took our booking over the phone & we were able to pay cash on arrival. We set off from the hotel around 9am & for a midday slot stopping on the way at Cajon junction for a Subway sandwich & a spot of rock scrambling before making our way on to Wrightwood.

The town itself boasts a number of good eating & accommodation options & the local music scene there is reputedly very good.

We checked into the zip-line offices, paid the $119 fee, signed the usual waiver & were joined by a group of 5 med students. The instructors were brilliant right from the word go. Funny, light hearted, professional & patient! We spent around 30min getting rigged up & briefed on what to expect before we set off on what is by far the bumpiest van ride I’ve ever experienced in my life! For about 20min (felt like a day!) we snaked up a mountain track to the start of the course where we were briefed again and allowed to practice what they hoped we had listened to!

There were an initial 3 zip lines, a rappel, another 2 zip-lines, 2 rope bridges, another rappel & finally another 3 zip-lines.

The final zip-line was a dual line & they paired us up to ‘race’ bringing an end to a fantastic afternoon. As this area is almost on the edge of the Mohave desert, the weather is generally clear & dry making for great photo conditions.

We returned to the office & elected to pay $45 for a flash drive with all 70 odd photos that the staff had taken. We split the cost with the other group bringing the cost down to just $6 each. Bargain.

Of the 2 previous (JNB, EZE) zip-lines I’ve done I would say this was the best.

I then suggested to the crew we could squeeze in a bit of horse riding & especially since they both just happened to be experienced riders. I didn’t have a chance to pre-book this either so pleaded with the lady on the phone to fit us in outside normal hours! She was nice. So at 5pm we set off for the ‘Sunshine & Day Dreams’ horse stables 47 miles south of where we were to the town of Norco which is a ‘horse town’ – horses dominate the town’s activities, so much in fact, that where you would normally find side walks – you have horse trails! Horse owners can then tie their steed to the many rails & corrals placed outside shops etc.

When you drive through residential streets you expect to find a house & a garage – but you’ll also notice that most have a horse stable.

This ranch is perfect for beginners & there’s around a dozen horses including a mule. As we were fairly late in the day (the last ‘walk-in’ ride left at 4pm), we opted for just an hours ride which was still long enough to take in a good deal of varied scenery including a bamboo plantation. The timing was perfect as it was sunset. we paid $35 for the ride.

It was then a 40mile drive back to to the hotel stopping off for a cheap & very cheerful Vietnamese meal in Westminster known as Little Saigon – 8miles SW of Anaheim. There’s heaps of great cheap eats clustered around Brookhurst St.

Here’s some pics & useful links:

S&D Horse Riding! about-us/cee5

Mountain High Ski resort

Review by Paul Hudspith