The Texas Hill Country Gets an Alpine Coaster and 16-Story Zip Line

Plus: the camp activities to hit up after you ride

April 7, 2023 6:30 am
Cliff Carver at Camp Fimfo in Texas Hill Country
Cliff Carver at Camp Fimfo
Camp Fimfo

Of all the ways to travel in Texas — including by car, airplane and luxury bus — it’s hard to think of a better mode of transportation than an alpine coaster. Except for maybe a zip line. Fortunately, the former just debuted at Camp Fimfo, and the latter is in the works. 

Camp Fimfo is a camping and glamping resort that opened in New Braunfels in summer 2021, with a mix of comfortable cabins, RV hookups and tent sites, plus a heated pool with a swim-up bar, a waterpark with slides and 1,000 feet of Guadalupe River-facing shoreline. If that’s not enough to keep you occupied, the camp also has mini golf, yard games, tennis and pickleball. The company doubled down with a second location in Waco last summer, so now you’ve got two options for Central Texas day trips and weekend getaways.

If your tastes lean a bit more toward thrill-seeking than swimming and pickleball, the New Braunfels location recently debuted Fimfo Adventures, a new section of the park that features the state’s first alpine coaster.

It’s rare that “Texas” and “alpine” are used in the same sentence, but that’s what’s happening here. Dubbed “The Cliff Carver,” this elevated coaster is built into a hill and uses some physics to propel riders and their sleds smoothly down the track. That track bobs and weaves downhill for one mile, so you get slightly blurred Hill Country views as you ride. Let gravity do its work, and you’ll speed downhill around 25 miles per hour, which feels fast when you’re seated in a shallow sled. Those in search of a more scenic excursion can use the manual break for a leisurely ride. 

15 Camping Essentials for Spring
An array of gear to help you enjoy the most underrated season for setting up camp

Fimfo Adventures is still working on the River Zip, but when it debuts, it will feature side-by-side zip lines that span three football fields. After making your way uphill, you’ll reach the top of a cliff, where 360-degree panoramic views await. Continue onto the Sky Trail, and navigate across a series of hanging bridges and through treetops before arriving at the launch site — a floating platform suspended 16 stories above the Guadalupe River. Take in your surroundings, say a few positive affirmations, then race your friend down to the base.

Non-resort guests can purchase day passes to enjoy Camp Fimfo’s amenities, including The Cliff Carver and pools, but staying overnight is an easy choice after a full day in the sun. If you’re into roughing it, pitch a tent in one of the designated areas, but everything’s better in a cabin. There are a variety of options, including an A-frame cabin that sleeps two and has a river-facing porch with Adirondack chairs and a fire pit. If you’re traveling with the family or a group of friends, you’ll want larger digs. In that case, the Bluebonnet Cabin accommodates up to eight people and has a full kitchen, while the Coyote Cabin has room for 12, with three bedrooms, a kitchen and a porch. 

When you’re not riding the alpine coaster or posted up at the pool bar, you can wade into the river for some fly-fishing or hop in a tube and float away. For a more competitive experience, challenge someone to tennis or basketball, or keep things casual with yard games like corn hole, ladder golf, washers, giant Jenga and giant Connect 4. When you’re hungry, Squirrely’s Tavern has food and a full bar, and the General Store is where you can stock up on gear and groceries for longer stays. 

All told, a weekend here is like your childhood summer camp, but with more beer. 

For now, your options are limited to New Braunfels and Waco, but soon, other states will get a taste of what’s happening here. A rep for the company says that Camp Fimfo is planning to expand its footprint, with additional locations already underway in the Catskills and Lake Tahoe.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.