This cable car takes you from Palm Springs valley floor to the top of Mt San Jacinto. Along the way are great views and a chance to escape the heat at the top of the mountain. When I left Palm Springs it was 90 at the top it was 50F.
8500ft up in a glass cage, moving round as you go up, trying to take photographs and video was a real trial. On reaching the top there are many trails to walk, and we found ourselves up there for hours. It was like being in another world. We really enjoyed the experience and finished up with a drink in the cafe which was very welcome.There is a ranger that walks around the area and looks out for your all. There was a little shop to buy a few gifts, postcards etc too.
As this picture was taken in 1980, I expect that there are now even more houses than there were at that time. On top of the aerial tramway, even in full summer, the temperature can be low, due to the elevation. Always take care and clothe enough !
From the top, where the Aerial tramway brings you, the view on the whole valley is almost a bird's eye view. In the background of the valley, if you enlarge the photo, you can see a thin line that corresponds to the famous San Jacinto fault.
A trip to the Aerial tramway is a must. This photo shows the cables that climb on top of the mountain. As you can see, while the bottom of the tramway, in the valley is at the warm temperature of Palm Springs, the top, at 2555m (8516 ft) has snow remaining in April
Once at the top, during winter time, you can rent snow shoes or cross country skis or just plain hike the many great trails .
The skies are usually sunny and clear making for spectacular views.
Within a 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile of the lodge there are many people walking about, but further on it is relatively peaceful and relaxing.
Despite emailing the aerial tramway company, 1 month before we travelled, we got no reply (and no interest). Imagine our delight to arrive from the UK to find the tramway was closed for its annual maintenance.
Palm Springs is well past its 'best before date', and is a dead loss. Take a tour around the houses where people used to live before they died when they got to about 90. We wrer the only 2 on the tour bus!
Count the number of businesses that are closing down.
Try to get the local tourist office to make contact with you..no chance!
The Mount San Jacinto State Park at the end of the TramWay ride is a wonderful place to take a walk and enjoy fresh air and interesting and beautiful scenery. We took a short hike (The Desert View Trail) to a point from which we could see the desert below as well as the famous windmill farm. The 1.5 mile hike was just enough for us to build up a good appetite and the outdoor grilled burgers at the Top of the Tram Restaurant were delicious.
Cars depart at least every half hour from 10 a.m., Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. weekends and holiday periods. Last car up is 8 p.m. with the last car down at 9:45 p.m.
Children $14.00 (ages 3-12)
Seniors $19.00 (60+)
My favorite things to do is to head to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for a truly breathtaking view of the entire Coachella Valley. You get to the top with what is claimed to be the largest rotating trams in the world. From the base station at 2, 543 feet to the mountain station at 8,516 feet, the journey is an experience in itself. The journey takes about 12 minutes but it is worth it. Cost $20 per adult. You discover a big contrast between the desert and the top where temperature can change by more than 30 deg F or 15 deg C. In Winter the mountain is covered in snow. In the mountain there are hiking trails with tall pine and fir trees. I met people from around the world on the trails.
The view towards the Valley shows the 3000 wind mills used for generating electricity, the San Andreas Fault and, of course Palms Springs and other localities. Highly recommeded if you are visiting the area
We had intended on making the trip from the base of the mountain up 5000+ feet to the top but we were in Palm Springs during a freak Sprintime rain storm which clouded the entire route up to the mountain. The tram is the worlds largest rotating tramway that offers visitors spectacular views of the Palm Springs and the desert valley below. The top of the mountain in covered in pine forrest & jagged rocks with hiking trails that take you over mountain streams & thru wooded trails.
Weather at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tram (elevation 8,516')
-Children $13.80 (ages 3-12)
-Seniors $18.80 (60+)
-Annual Pass $120.00 (adults) $ 90.00 (children)
The world's largest roatating tram ride starts from at an elevation of 2,643 feet to the 8,516 feet high up on Mt. St. Jacinto. It only takes 11 minutes! You can try some recreational activities like hiking and snowshoeing at the top. Even if you don't have time to do so, the ride itself is worth trying. Enjoy the view and the diversities of wilderness.
You'd better go there early in the morning to avoid lining up.
Here is the interior of the tram. The ascent is 2 1/2 miles passing through 5 unique life zones. We were fortunate to be able to walk around since it wasn't crowded yet. They also sway a little in the wind, so if you get queazy with heights this may not be for you.
Ride the world's largest rotating tram car from the Mexican Sonoran Desert floor to an Alpine wilderness 8,516 feet high. The tram makes 2 full rotations during the ride giving viewers a 360 degree view of the valley floor and rocky mountain terrain. Trams hold up to 80 people but I would suggest going early to avoid the crowds. We were on the second tram up and had less than 10 on board. A definite "must see"!
Admission: $20.80 - adults
Trams run at least every 30 minutes starting at 10 a.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. on weekends and holidays.
There is usually a 40 degree difference in temperatures from the valley station to the peak at Mt. San Jacinto State Park. There was at least an inch of snow on the ground when we arrived.
The mountain station on top features viewpoints, a restaurant, cocktail lounge, gift shop, natural history museum and theatre showing a film on the history of the Tramway.
There are also numeous hiking tails and campgrounds.
There is a dine and ride package offering dinner at the mountain station for $28.00 per person. Wish I had known about this for Thanksgiving.
View of the mountains and desert floor below. Incredible contrasts. Definitely bring warm clothes since the temps could vary up to 40 degrees.