The compact, personal jetpack may still be a concept relegated to the worlds of science-fiction and comic books—one current model in development for first responders is more like a really noisy small aircraft into which you strap yourself—but if you don’t mind getting a little wet while living out your Rocketeer fantasy, then maybe water jetpacks are the next best thing. And thanks to Jetpack America, visitors to the Las Vegas area who prefer their risk-taking not involve wagering their kid’s college fund can now get their hydro-powered flying fix less than an hour from the Strip.
Jetpack America’s new facility is located at Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club in Pahrump, Nev., about 60 miles west of Las Vegas, and yes, it is exactly what it sounds like: A getaway for racing enthusiasts replete with all the amenities you’d come to expect in a fine resort: lush accommodations, well-equipped gym, relaxing spa, casual dining, and high-speed race cars screaming around six miles of race track. You know, the usual. Oh, it’s also co-owned by a guy named Rambo, which is just plain awesome.
The jetpack action happens on the resort’s brand-new, private, 8-acre freshwater lake. Powered by the pressure from an attached tube of rushing water, jetpack pilots can soar up to 30 feet into the air at max speeds of about 25 mph. Jetpack America is also offering paddleboard rentals at the faux-lake, but compared to flying around propelled by nothing more than a high-tech fire hose, that doesn’t sound nearly as exciting.
Water jetpacking, however, is just the latest addition to the wealth of outdoor adventures to be experienced in Southern Nevada. FlightLinez offers zipline tours of the rolling desert hills just about 20 minutes outside of Las Vegas in Boulder City, Nev. Each approximately two-hour tour includes a little bit of hiking and four zipline runs totalling a mile and a half, offering scenic views of wildlife and natural beauty while soaring above Bootleg Canyon strapped to the equivalent of a threaded needle.
If you prefer your aerial adventures Pinocchio-style (no strings attached), then good old-fashioned skydiving might be more up your airstream. Also located in Boulder City (at the Boulder City Municipal Airport, natch), Skydive Las Vegas offers tandem skydiving from about 15,000 feet above sea level, which affords about a minute of freefall while taking in views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and the Strip—assuming you’re not closing your eyes and screaming until that ‘chute expands, of course.