Imagine soaring through a mountain landscape, wildflowers alongside, vistas of towering peaks at every turn, while the crisp alpine air rushes through your hair. 

No, you’re not on a zip line, a gondola or even a mountain bike--you’ve hopped aboard an alpine coaster, a unique brand of roller coaster featuring an elevated track that sends you soaring down an incline. 

Alpine coasters-- also known as mountain coasters-- were invented in the mid 1990s in Europe. Each sled usually accommodates just one or two passengers in gravity-propelled individually-controlled cars so riders can ideally control the speed at which they zoom-- a far cry from the high-tech coasters dominating theme parks today.

Here are the top alpine coasters around the U.S., from the mountains of Utah to Vermont: