For a girl who used to run from one roller coaster to another at Great America to get the maximum number of rides in a day, it’s exciting to have the longest mountain coaster in North America right here on Mount Werner. My husband and I tested it out this weekend, and the ride had me screaming with stomach-dropping delight.

The Outlaw Mountain Coaster, located by the Christie lift at the base, has small personal carts, which you can ride solo or tandem. We decided to try both ways. Riley and the other operators told us to ride together for maximum speed, so we took a tandem lap first.

The ride to the top of the slope allows just enough time to get your adrenaline pumping. It was then that I realized how many years it had been since I’d ridden any kind of roller coaster. Each cart is equipped with a brake and signs on the way down measure 80-foot intervals, the required distance to keep between you and fellow riders. We couldn’t see anyone in front of us, so we let ‘er rip.

With two, you get going much faster, as the ride down is a force of sheer inertia, momentum and gravity. The loop covers more than 6,200 feet of track and takes you over vertical drops and screaming around 360 degree turns. I let out more than a few yelps of delight as we careened around the track.

When it came time for a solo lap, I admit to being a little intimidated. Staffers assured me that the cart, which is mounted both above and below the rails, couldn’t come off the track. Assistant Manager Michael Greene said there are only a couple of spots where it’s possible to take cars on and off. These are at the bottom where passengers load and unload. Whew! I psyched myself up determined to go full throttle, but my husband said he saw brake lights at least once.

Locals and tourists line up for a spin on the coaster

Michael said they will have crews to shovel snow and ice daily to keep the coaster rolling in the winter. He said every morning before the coaster opens to the public, crew members take a slow test ride to make sure it’s safe and free of obstacles.

Click here for hours of operation and prices. And definitely give the Outlaw Mountain Coaster a whirl. It’ll shake things up in the best possible way.

 

Jessica Berg is a freelance writer and Suzuki Violin teacher. She first moved to Steamboat after college in the mid ’90s and, after a long hiatus, is happy to call Steamboat home again. She runs a private violin studio out of her Steamboat home and teaches violin with Boulder Suzuki Strings. She holds a degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and loves blogging about mountain life.