The following post may contain affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for more information.
Ever since becoming aware of a local aerial obstacle course near Phoenix, Arizona, Fabian and I have had the activity high on our bucket list. As soon as we saw Geyser Whitewater Expeditions‘ package deal with Yellowstone Aerial Adventures, we were sold!
A quick note before we dive into it: this type of activity is something that my husband and I have wanted to do for a long time. This desire exists in spite of the fact that I am afraid of heights/falling, and have been since I was a child. Taking on this course is one of the ways that I take baby steps towards overcoming that fear. And they truly are baby steps. If anyone out there is in the same boat, don’t give up! Your comfort zone changes as you grow and adapt to new experiences. Be brave (:
What did we do? An aerial obstacle course!
Where did we do it? West Yellowstone, Montana
Who did we do it with? Yellowstone Aerial Adventures
How long did it take? Three to four hours
Overall experience rating: ★★★. I would do this again, but I’d make big changes next time to make sure everyone enjoys themselves!
We booked this reservation through Geyser Whitewater Expeditions rather than Yellowstone Aerial Adventures because the two companies offer a package deal that gives buyers access to both attractions. Therefore, we didn’t interact directly with Yellowstone Aerial Adventures during the booking process. I can’t speak to the ease of booking directly through them, or the friendliness of their staff in doing so. However, if their service is anything like Geyser Whitewater, I’m sure it’ll go well! If you would like to hear more about our booking experience with Geyser, you can read about it here.
This experience certainly isn’t what my husband and I would consider cheap. However, when taking into account the value we got (half a day on the water with Geyser and then a single entry unlimited access to Yellowstone Aerial Adventures), we both felt as though the price was fair. Of course, cheaper would have been nicer, but a fair price is all we can truly ask for, isn’t it?
Fabian, Skyler, and I arrived at Yellowstone Aerial Adventures around 9:00a. Although participants can arrive at any time (during business hours) to access the park, the company requests a reservation time so staff can make sure to have enough equipment out upon the guests’ arrival. We went with the earlier reservation because we knew we’d be heading back to Billings that afternoon and we didn’t want to be driving very late in the day. It ended up working out nicely because both the parking lot and the course were nearly empty when we arrived — score!
The woman behind the counter was personable and helpful. The site has behind-the-counter bins that guests can use to store their valuables while on the course, an amenity that we took advantage of. They also have sunscreen available at the front counter, thank goodness! The same staff member from the register helped the three of us get our gear on, and took us through the instructions for using the zipline equipment. The course is completely self-directed, so be sure to pay attention at this part if you want to get anywhere!
After we were all geared up and educated properly, we made our way to the course, which is divided into multiple sections. One side gives participants access to the Junior Ranger Course, which is designed for younger kids. We started there since Skyler had never done an activity like this one. It ended up being for the best because, well, he wasn’t the great at it in all honesty. After his fearless demeanor during the whitewater rafting trip, we thought he’d have a great time on the obstacle course too, but the challenges were a bit too different I suppose!
Skyler seemed to be simultaneously having the best and the worst time of his life, crying about being scared one moment and then all smiles and laughs after making progress the next moment. We did the Junior Course a solid four or five times before we were all confident that the little one could make it through some of the harder obstacles.
It was through the repetition of the Junior Ranger side that our family noticed just how attentive and kind the Yellowstone Aerial Adventures staff were, particularly the attendant present on the course. By the end of our time there, that gentleman knew all of us by name, and had spent a considerable amount of time encouraging Skyler when he got scared. He never berated or talked down to him, even when he was holding up a line. We all appreciated his kindness very much. Skyler even began going out of his way to let this man know when he accomplished a new obstacle, just in case he wasn’t looking. He wanted him to be proud and continue that praise!
The harder part of the course has several obstacles, which are identified by colors indicating their levels of difficulty. I had been ziplining prior to this excursion, and the thing that stood out to me compared to that previous experience was that the self-directed nature of the course allowed us to choose which obstacles we wanted to do and when. This is opposed to completing each obstacle consecutively in order to move forward. This really helped with reducing any type of traffic on the course; if one obstacle was getting crowded, participants could just choose a different direction, or place their carabiners ahead of the person causing the hold up. This freedom was nice, especially with a nervous six-year-old, because we didn’t have to worry holding others back or being held back ourselves.
Skyler and I tended to stay on the lower levels of the obstacle course, where he was more comfortable (which isn’t saying much — most of the time he was not comfortable at all!). Just completing those obstacles were huge victories for him, and my fear of heights led me to be very content supervising him on the easier sections.
Fabian, however, was prepared from the second we checked in to reach the top! We didn’t plan on ruining his fun, so he went off on his own about halfway through so he could meet his own goals. He did make it through the top portions of the course, but confided in us later that they really did get more difficult each time (not just more frightening due to the increased height), so it was probably for the best that Skyler and I stayed below! Luckily, Fabian was able to complete those obstacles and reach the top, which features four ziplines. His first time ziplining was a success!
As a whole, all three of us pushed our limits with this course! We were on and off the obstacles for around three to four hours before we decided it was time to call it quits and leave for lunch. Even Skyler, who had a difficult time throughout the morning, was super bummed to leave! We will definitely be doing similar activities in the future!
Yellowstone Aerial Adventures had a gift shop with souvenirs, as was expected. We browsed both before and after playing on the obstacle course, but I was not overly impressed with the style of most items, so we stuck to stickers for our travel journal! I can be a souvenir snob sometimes. I can’t comment on the cost of the gift shop items because I didn’t see anything I liked enough to warrant checking. Look for yourself and see if there’s something right for you!
More importantly, Fabian and I focused on getting some awesome pictures to remember the experience. Yellowstone Aerial Adventures doesn’t offer a picture-taking service, like many adventure parks do, but that’s okay! Those tend to be pricey, even for single photos. We chose to capture our own snapshots, many of which are featured throughout this post, and they turned out pretty well if you ask me!
We managed standard shots that were taken from the ground. Fabian and I both took this role at some point when resting below. There was plenty of walking space around the obstacle course, which made it possible to get photos from many different angles depending on where the subject was.
We also got several candids from above while all three of us were on the course. These photos are so great and memorable because they bring us right back to where we were in the moment! Our perspectives were maintained in these ones, as opposed to outside views from far away.
We managed these types of pictures with some careful planning. Fabian and I are not careless with our phones at all, so bringing them high above the ground on an obstacle course was a big deal. We did it because we had just purchased an awesome (and affordable!) sealable phone holder that we were able to wear securely around our necks with a lanyard. The case is clear and touch screen compatible, allowing us to take some great photos without the risk of dropping our devices. We haven’t tried the case in water yet (it’s also supposed to be waterproof!), but we’re so happy with its performance so far. We have unique photos that we wouldn’t otherwise have without it. If you’re interested in getting one of these phone holders for your own adventures, you can check them out here, or on the sidebar!
Taken as a whole, my family and I had a great time during our first aerial adventure together! We attribute much of that success to the friendly staff and well designed course at Yellowstone Aerial Adventures. We can’t wait to get back in the air and get better at this type of activity!
Have you ever completed an aerial obstacle course? Comment with your experience below! 🙂
Medical disclaimer: As always, consult a physician before you and/or your child engage in rigorous outdoor activity. The general information above is not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional. If you experience any problems or have concerns when engaging in physical activity, stop and contact a doctor before proceeding.