When I moved to Boise a decade ago, I instantly fell in love with the Treasure Valley and never looked back...but there's one thing I do miss about the part of the country I grew up in.

When we talk about lottery dreams and what we would do if we ever hit a multi-million dollar jackpot, people look at me like I have horns growing out of my head when I tell them mine. Backyard roller coaster. I used to live smack dab between three amusement parks, including Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world.

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As a coaster fiend, I'm surprised that I didn't know that Idaho actually had a hand in launching some of the best roller coasters in the world! There's a company based in Hayden, ID called Rocky Mountain Construction that manufactures and constructs roller coasters all over the world.  Their I-Box technology is the reason that some of the most beloved wooden roller coasters in the country are still around. It's a replacement steel track for wooden coasters.

Since they opened in 2011, there are 16 Rocky Mountain Construction coasters operating in the United States, Mexico and Sweden.  Their name is also attached to coasters under construction in Japan, the Netherlands and Poland!

Little did I know, I’ve actually ridden one of their coasters! Last year, my girlfriends and I ran the inaugural Napa Valley Women’s Run. The day before the race, we took a trip to get our coaster fix at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. The first coaster we rode that day was called “The Joker” and even as a well seasoned coaster aficionado the ride surprised the heck out of me! Why? Because looking at The Joker, it looks like a wooden roller coaster. Those don’t typically turn you upside down, but halfway through the ride there we were upside down, with me screaming “WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!”

Enter Rocky Mountain Construction! In 2016, they used they installed a new steel track on a 17 year old wooden coaster called Roar. Using that I-Box technology allowed them to change the max vertical angle from 45 degrees to 78 degrees and add three inversions, one of which was a zero-G barrels roll. It was a crazy ride and I can see why it was among the best new coaster introduced in 2016! In case you don't get to travel to ride it yourself, here's a cool POV video of what the experience is like!

Other Rocky Mountain Construction Coasters include:

  • New Texas Giant/Six Flags Over Texas
  • Outlaw Run/Silver Dollar City
  • Iron Rattler/Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  • Medusa Steel Coaster/Six Flags Mexico
  • Goliath/Six Flags Great America
  • Twisted Colossus/Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • Wicked Cyclone/Six Flags New England
  • Wildfire/Kolmarden Sweden
  • Storm Chaser/Kentucky Kingdom
  • Lightning Rod/Dollywood
  • Steel Vengeance/Cedar Point
  • Twisted Timbers/Kings Dominion
  • Twisted Cyclone/Six Flags Over Georgia
  • Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster/Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  • RailBlazer - California's Great America