Ziplining Berryessa Peak

Lake Berryessa Eco-Tourism: Zip Line Makes Berryessa Peak Accessible

 Desperation Recreation, Inc. will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, Monday, April 1, 2013, for its new Berryessa Peak – Blue Ridge zipline adventure. Following through on its stated corporate strategy, “We’ll help you do anything to get a tourist dollar!,” the new Lake Berryessa nature-based attraction combines the satisfaction of surviving a strenuous four hour uphill hike with the thrill of a wicked-fast ballistic descent to lake level - ending with a quiet kayak paddle home.


Berryessa Peak at 3,057 feet (931 meters) is the highpoint of Blue Ridge; a small mountain ridge east of Lake Berryessa that runs in a north-south direction. While Berryessa Peak is located on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, for many years the summit had no public access as surrounding land was on private property.



In 2008 a private landowner allowed a public trail easement for access to the summit and the 9,100 acre "landlocked" Berryessa Peak BLM land. Although a very strenuous hike to the summit of Berryessa Peak, the views are fantastic, and the last mile is arguably the most scenic portion of the trail as it runs along the final ridgeline to the summit.



 The hike is 6 -7 miles one way. The round trip, going at a moderate pace, takes about 7 hours and 45 minutes. Recognizing that the majority of local and international ecotourists may not be attracted to such a time-consuming and physically-demanding hike, Desperation Recreation, Inc. provides a more attractive downhill option.

 Ziplines would offer a different perspective and experience at Lake Berryessa. With relatively low start-up and operating costs this new recreation opportunity would provide a daily windfall of several thousand dollars, while providing public thrill-seekers the long-awaited activity of zipping from Berryessa Peak to the Lake Berryessa surface with the exhilarating speed and smoothness a bald eagle in flight. Babies and older adults are surprisingly taken by the excitement and adrenaline that comes naturally when they start flying for the first time.

 Interestingly, while popular tourist destinations internationally offer ziplines through jungle canopies or from tree-covered hills to local beaches, there are proportionately few in the U.S. Examples are Yosemite Ziplines and Adventure Ranch ( or Sonoma Canopy Tours (

A Berryessa Peak - Blue Ridge Zipline adventure would qualify for a sizeable federal grant currently designated for alternative transportation in public places. In the majority of zip-lined recreational areas, the number of visitors has increased, as has revenue. The Berryessa Peak hike is an ideal example of a potential ecotourist adventure destination that can have a positive economic impact on the present financially-depressed local community.

So get out your binoculars, focus on Berryessa Peak, and see the bodies flying down the zip line. You should also be able to hear their screams all the way to lake level.                       © Peter Kilkus 2020