Above the Trees:
POSTOAK's Zip Line Canopy Tours
I‘ve decided that this was my summer to do things that scare me. Between doing the Out to Sea Shark Dive at Wonders of Wildlife and this latest adventure, zip lining at POSTOAK, my heart has raced in brand new ways more than once in the past month!
First things first. I’d heard of POSTOAK’s Canopy Tours years ago, but at $79 a head, it wasn’t too far up on my bucket list. (Group rates are available; Youth 10-15 are $69.)
However, when POSTOAK invited me out to try the tour in exchange for writing about it, you’d better believe I said “Yes!” And many thanks to my friend Amanda for accompanying me on the tour because I wouldn’t have wanted to go alone, and it was very nice to have someone to take photos of!
The Basics: Restrictions and Good Ideas
Age and Weight Requirements
You have to be at least 10 years old and between 70 and 250 pounds to participate in the Zip Line Tour. Kids ages 10-15 must be accompanied on the tour by a parent or legal guardian, and kids 16 and older must have a parent or legal guardian sign a waiver for them if they won’t be accompanying the youth.
Everyone steps onto a scale before gearing up–don’t worry, if you’re like me and have no interest in knowing your exact weight, the scale simply has a “green” and a “red” range. As long as you fall within the “green” range, you’re good to go. But they do check to make sure the requirements are met.
What to Bring
Bring comfortable clothes and athletic shoes. Yes, zip lining involves a lot of flying through the air, but you do have to climb up steep staircases, so you’ll be glad you’re wearing sturdy footwear, ideally tennis shoes.
If, like me, you are planning to document the experience on social media, you’ll want the option of taking a phone with you. POSTOAK sells $8 phone carrying cases that you could use, but the website recommends bringing a fanny pack or wearing something with a zippered pocket. I wore a light vest, which worked, but it was a little difficult getting my phone in and out of the front pocket because of the way the harness straps fell, so I’m thinking cargo-type shorts with secured pockets might be ideal.
POSTOAK did take photos throughout the tour, which was fantastic because they knew how to set up some really fun shots, like making it look you’re falling off the platform, holding the Tulsa skyline in your hand, etc. But the quality of photos I took on my iPhone was definitely higher, so if you want more/better pictures, try to bring your own phone.
We could have let go of the ropes here, but…nah…
I was a little worried about water because it was so hot on the day we did the tour, but POSTOAK provided a water station mid-way through the tour, complete with icy-cold bandanas you could use to towel off or wear for the remainder of the tour. At the end of the tour, they provided more water–as well as popsicles! Woot!
Finally, one thing we didn’t think about was sunscreen. I was definitely a bit red the next day, so lather up ahead of time.
The Canopy Tour consists of six different zip lines consisting of 3,865 feet of cable. For some reason, I was imaging short little swings from tree-to-tree, so I was a little shocked at the top of the first tour when I realized I would be suspended in mid-air above open ground for quite a good distance! Honestly, I freaked out for a couple minutes before taking that first step off the platform. After that, it was a breeze–100% fun, and I felt very secure in my harness. The harness wraps around your waist as well as both your legs, so it feels just like sitting in a chair when you’re off the ground.
POSTOAK makes the experience as user-friendly as possible. They kept saying, “All you have to do is step off the platform.” They take care of making sure you’re clipped in and of slowing you down before you get to the next tower. So there’s no worries that you’ll come in too fast. Plus, except when climbing the stairs, you are clipped on to a cable at all times. There’s a loop at the back of the harness that they hook you up to in between swings, and they don’t remove it until you are connected to the next cable. Similarly, they don’t unhook you from the cable until your other rope is reattached.
Tour guide starting the braking process on the final zip
(Still worried about safety? It’s okay. They make you sign a waiver at the beginning that kind of reminds you just how dangerous zip lining could be. But our two guides were highly experienced: one had a master’s in outdoor adventuring, and the other was a professional zip line safety inspector who travels all over the Midwest inspecting zip lines. A third employee accompanied us on the tour; she was in the process of getting her zip line guide certification from POSTOAK, so we got to hear a little bit about their training process, which involves several days of hands-on training, written tests, etc.)
The views on the tour are truly incredible. For the most part, you can see the Tulsa skyline off in the distance–and all around, the rolling Ozark hills. POSTOAK is close to the Tulsa Botanic Garden, so our guides pointed out that if you tour early in the day, you can always head to the Botanic Garden afterwards for more natural beauty!
There is a nice variety to the zip lines: Some are short and fast, others longer and slower. Our guide asked which I prefer, and I’d have to go with “Longer and slower,” but it’s nice that there’s something for everyone.
The whole tour takes anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the number of people on the tour. The limit is about 10, in addition to two guides who “bookend” the tour group. However, there was no one else signed up for our time slot, so I think it only took about 45 minutes! However, plan on spending up to 3 hours at POSTOAK from start to finish, just in case.
Towards the end of the tour, the guide had us turn around so we could see the five zip lines we’d already done. “It’s a little bit corny, but this is a good metaphor for life: You can see where you’ve been and feel proud of all you’ve accomplished.” Then he pointed out the next zip line, which disappeared into the trees. “You may not always know where you’re going, but you can trust that it will be okay.”
Looking back–it’s too small to see, but all the platforms are visible from this point.
Looking ahead–zip line disappears into trees.
And in case you’re wondering, yes, zip lining into a “blind spot” worked out just fine. You ended up on a low platform, and after that was popsicles and getting to look at your epic photos in the Canopy Tour Cabin.
They kept encouraging us to do “dance” or “yoga moves” while on the zip line. I did as much as I could while clutching the rope for dear life 🙂
If these gorgeous photos have convinced you to take a zip line tour of your own, you can RSVP here. Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season (which I believe is March through November), at 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Again, canopy tours are limited to about 10 people per tour.
They will also be running tours on Labor Day (Monday, September 2)–so if you want a Labor Day adventure that doesn’t involve road trippin’, a canopy tour could be just the ticket!
Have you done POSTOAK’s Canopy Tour? Or any other zip line experience you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments!
POSTOAK LODGE & RETREAT
5232 W. 31st St. N., Tulsa