Idaho Created 4 of the Top 10 Greatest Roller Coasters in the USA
Does that headline have you scratching your head? We don’t blame you. Idaho’s only home to one amusement park and that park only has five high thrill coasters. Is it possible that four of them made this list?
Of course the amusement park we’re talking about is Silverwood in Athol and their coasters are pretty darn good. Especially the Stunt Pilot that opened in 2021. But, no. None of them made USA Today’s 10 Best list of the “10 Best Roller Coasters of 2022” So, how does Idaho have a connection to this list?
Three words. Rocky. Mountain. Construction. They’re a roller coaster manufacturing company that builds the most thrilling coasters in the world, all over the world. Do you know where they’re based? Hayden, Idaho! They got their start 11 years ago and are responsible for something called I-Box technology. It’s a replacement steel track for wooden coasters and it’s the reason that some of the most beloved wooden roller coasters in the county are still around. In fact, that’s the technology they used on the coaster that placed #9 on the USA Today list.
#9 Iron Gwazi
In the coaster world, Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay was one of the most anticipated rides of 2022. According to Coasterpedia, Rocky Mountain Construction used about 40% of the structure and track layout of a wooden coaster called the Gwazi that closed in 2015. The park’s website says that it is North America’s tallest and the world’s fastest and steepest hybrid coaster. It reaches a top speed of 76 miles per hour and drops riders 206 feet into a 91 degree drop.
#7 Lightning Rod
Yup, Idaho’s responsible for a coaster at Dollywood! This was one that Rocky Mountain Construction worked on from scratch. Coasterpedia describes it as the world’s first launched wooden coaster and the world’s fastest wooden coaster. It reaches 73 miles per hour. Building it cost Dollywood $22 million.
#5 Steel Vengeance
We have a soft spot for Steel Vengeance. This author happened to grow up in Ohio, so we remember riding the Mean Streak in Sandusky. The Mean Streak was a wooden roller coaster that operated from 1991-2016. According to Coasterpedia, it was the tallest and fastest wooden coaster when it opened…but we remember it as an “eh” coaster that was a super rough ride. The brilliant minds from Idaho’s Rocky Mountain Construction came in and built the new ride using a lot of the support structure left behind by Mean Streak. When it opened in 2018, it broke 10 different hybrid coaster records for height, speed, inversions and airtime.
#4 Twisted Colossus
The photos of this racing coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California are incredible. Like Iron Gwazi and Steel Vengeance, it was built on the support structure of a defunct wooden coaster. The original twin coaster, the Colossus, was around for 36 years. Rocky Mountain Construction came in and made it a steel hybrid coaster that pays homage to the original coaster by setting up two trains to race each other on similar tracks. The coolest element of the coaster? The fact that there’s a part of the track where the cars run parallel to each other, banked at 90 degrees and it looks like the riders who have their hands up are actually high fiving each other!
So, that’s how Idaho is responsible for four of the greatest coasters in America! You may have to travel to ride them, but they’ll be worth it. Don’t feel like traveling? Remember those five coasters at Silverwood? Their newest one, The Stunt Pilot, was designed by Rocky Mountain Construction. You can read more about that coaster HERE.