Photo Of The Day: Zebra Canyon

Most travel photography fans are familiar with the striking, sun-dappled images of Arizona‘s famed Antelope Canyon popularized on computer desktop backgrounds around the world. But few people are acquainted with Zebra Canyon, its less popular, less crowded but equally fetching neighbor in Utah, captured excellently in today’s Photo of the Day from Flickr user oilfighter. Named because of its vivid pink stripes, Zebra Canyon is also referred to as a “slot” because of its narrowness – our intrepid photographer even had to leave his pack at the entrance!

Do your natural wonder photos belong here? Upload your favorite shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool and your image could be selected as our Photo of the Day.

Video: Rappelling: how NOT to do it

Rappelling, by definition, is the controlled descent down a rock face using a rope. What it is not is the out of control and upside down (fascinatingly slow) descent down a rock face using a rope. I don’t have a lot of rappelling experience under my belt, but as a general fan of the outdoors, I have enough experience with the activity to watch this video and wonder how, exactly, this kind of accident happens to begin with.

An upcoming caving/rappelling trip to Belize got me searching YouTube for videos. When this came up, I’ll admit, I had to watch it a few times.

Have you been rappelling? Have you had an accident doing it? Do you have any tips for avoiding accidents? Tell us. Tell us everything you know in the comments.

ToroVerde park delivers an adventure in Puerto Rico

Thrill seekers who are looking to take a break from all that sun and surf while visiting Puerto Rico now have a new option to add a little excitement to their vacation. The recently opened ToroVerde Adventure Park is ready to give them the jolt of adrenaline that they’re looking for, offering up opportunities to rock climb, mountain bike, and choose from an array of zip line tours.

Located near Orocovis, not far from San Juan, the adventure park is a jungle playground with plenty to do both on the ground and over it. With eight different ziplines to choose from, each with varying heights, lengths, and speeds, you’re sure to find a route that works for you. So if you’re looking for a leisurely glide through the treetops, you might want to try the “Red Tail Hawk Flight” line, but if you want to jump start your heart, go with the “Flight of the Phoenix” instead. But for the ultimate zip line experience, try the Beast Tour, which straps you to a special harness, and sends you sailing for more than 4700 feet through the jungle canopy.

If the zip lines aren’t enough to hold your interest however, you can take one of ToroVerde’s special tours. For instance, the Wild Bull or the Escape If You Can tours combine zipping with rappelling, hiking, and rock climbing to create an adventurous mix that will carry you deep into the jungle and up rugged mountain paths.

When you’re done exploring on foot, you can visit the ToroVerde’s signature mountain bike park, and enjoy some two wheeled fun as well. The single-track course was designed by professional mountain bike rider Marla Streb, and has been built to cater to every rider’s needs, whether they are a beginner or an expert. The eight mile ride has challenging climbs and heart pounding drops, and delivers some great views of the surrounding area along the way.

Billed as an “ecotouristic” park, ToroVerde looks to be a great mix of tropical scenery and extreme sports. For a day filled with adventure, take a break from the beach and go play in the jungle instead.

[Photo credit: ToroVerde Adventure Park]

Zip through Orlando at Grand Lakes

Climb, zip and traverse: Grand Lakes Orlando‘s newest attraction can be summarized succinctly, but what really happens is far more interesting. Based at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades, this destination has created a unique experience that leaves guests hanging – and flying and swinging. Put on a harness, and you can experience 25 climbing and traversing structures that are suspended 15 feet to 55 feet from the ground. The 40-foot swing and 600-foot zip lines are among the standouts on the course.

Grand Lakes Orlando offers several packages designed to scratch your particular itch while appealing to both individuals and families. The Open Session Adventure gives you 2 ½ hours on the course (at a bargain price of $60 for adults and $45 for children). If you prefer a bit of exclusivity, schedule a private event. Up to eight people can be accommodated for a two-hour experience, where you can enjoy the suspension apparatus in a high-touch service environment. Climbing and rappelling classes are also offered.

This is a side of Orlando that many miss. Skip the Mouse for an afternoon, and put your body to work in a setting that blends the natural and synthetic seamlessly.