Record-setting roller coaster opens in Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — A roller coaster billed as the highest looping coaster in the United States that features a free-fall drop of more than 100 feet is now open.

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The new Defiance coaster is up and running at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, with a grand opening celebration for the ride scheduled for Saturday, July 9.

The roller coaster is built into the side of Iron Mountain, and features a 102.3 degree, 110-foot free-fall drop, making it the steepest free-fall drop in the western United States, KUSA reported. The roller coaster sits 7,132 feet above sea level, which makes it the highest looping roller coaster in the country.

Video shows the trip on the coaster, with a slow ascent up a 75-foot vertical incline followed by the steep free-fall drop.

“Defiance is sure to become instantly recognizable around the world for its incredible setting and unparalleled thrills,” Nancy Heard, general manager of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, said in a statement.

The roller coaster reaches speeds of 56 miles per hour, and has three cars that each sit eight people, KUSA reported.

The name Defiance is both because the roller coaster “defies gravity,” as well as a nod to the original name for the town of Glenwood Springs, KUSA reported.