A fun, vintage thing to do. It's the quickest and easiest way to get to an entirely different climate. The Swiss tram cars are amazing with a revolving floor so everyone gets a view.
At the top there is an amazing Lodge. Definitely worth visiting. There is also a museum that is very old school, nicely kitch. I loved seeing it. The view of Palm Springs and the valley is inspiring.
Behind the lodge are paths and trails. There is an information center in the lodge for things to do, trails to take up at the top of the mountain.
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.
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.
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.
For the best views of the Coachella Valley, take the Aerial Tramway to the top of the mountain. This is a great way to spend the day. The ride up is pretty fun, the tramcar has a rotating floor, and you can see in all directions, without moving. If you like to hike, there are numerous trails that you can enjoy. If you are not the hiking type, you can just enjoy the views and the fresh air and grab lunch at the restaurant. If you go during the winter, make sure to bring warm clothes and closed toe shoes with you, as you most likely be in the snow.
When we were in Palm Springs in March 2007, we stared out at this chairlift every day -- our bedroom window faced Mt. St. Jacinto. During our week in PSm we never made it. I have read that the price is $22 (little less in the evening), and the website talks about the world's largest rotating tram ride -- Whoo hooo!
But I haven't found out anything about the trails at the top yet. We are going to PS again in March 2008 and this time we will spend a day up there, so I have to find out before then.
Well in our case there really was no way we could go skiing. In the Valley where Palm Springs was it was just hot. Ok temperatures are about 30 degrees fahrenheit lower on top of Mount San Jacinto but it still was very nice. The tram besides going up also revolves 360 degrees so everyone has a great view.
After a short look around at the mountain station, because there really wasn't that much to do. We went out for a Hike. But i tell more about that in another tip.
Tickets for the tram are $ 21,95 for adults.
Cars depart at least every half hour with the first car up Monday-Friday at 10am; first car up weekends and holiday periods at 8am. Last car up is 9 p.m. with the last car down at 10:30 p.m.
Here we are! My family went up on a HOT june afternoon to take a tram ride. A great idea since it is about 30 degrees F cooler up there and on a day where the temperature reached 112f, that was perfect!
The tram is fast and the view is amazing. On a clear day you can see very very very far!
Within the Mount San Jacinto Park one can have loads of fun Hiking, Camping, there are guided Nature walks, in the winter there are tons of activities and the tram is handicap Accessible!
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
There is a restaurant once you reach the top, but a picnic with your own food is more exciting!
Tickets are about $22.00 for adults.
This is an impressive steep ride up beside a rock face with an amazing view of Palm Springs down in the valley. There are 87 kms of hiking trails at the top of the tramway in Mount San Jacinto State Park, or you can just take a short 20-minute walk around the edge of the mountain to take in the views. It is refreshingly cool up top. There are many other activities available on their web site, listed below.
Hours of operation: every half hour from 10:00 Mon-Fri; 08:00 weekends and holidays. Last car up is 20:00 with the last car down at 21:45. Note: "The Tramway is currently closed for Annual Maintenance. Please check back for reopening date". This is as of 19-Sep-06.
Tram Prices: adults $21.95, children $14.95, seniors (60+) $19.95, children under 3 years old are free but require a boarding pass.
When one thinks of Palm Springs, hiking and cross country skiing rarely cross the mind. However, atop the aerial tramway lies the Mount San Jacinto State Park. They have over 54 miles of hiking trails, and in the winter the Adventur Center rents Cross Country skis and snow shoes.
If you go in the winter dress warm, or in layers and be prepared for snow.
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 aerial tramway is a spectacular ride. The tram climbs nearly 6,000 feet in a matter of minutes, above sheer cliffs and to the cooler temps above the desert valley floor. The tramway is an engineering marvel, requiring helicopters to erect the supporting towers. During the ride, the tram rotates, offering a full view of the cliffs (if you want to see them. If you're afraid of heights, you may not), the valley and the approaching Mount San Jacinto.
At the station, there's the usual gift shop and restaurants, one of which boasts fine dining. Numerous trails lead around the area and the round valley trail will take you to the summit of San Jacinto. This is a popular place in the summertime when tempatures at the top are about 30 degrees cooler than the sizzling desert floor.
I was amazed at how different the scenery was at the top of the ride. It was as if we had entered a completely different palce. There were trees and greenery and even some snow which all looked out of place when looking down that at the brown desert below.
This tram ride itself is an experience! The tram rotates so that you are able to get an incredible view of the entire valley.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in Palm Springs, California, is the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. Rising 8500 feet above the desert floor, the Palm Springs Tramway offers access to hiking and camping trips in this famous San Jacinto state park wilderness.
I hate heights but this was worth it. The ride is incredible. Its only 10 minutes each way. Words cant express the view. As it passes the 4 towers on the way up, it sways and it can be scary. The ride down is smoother.
At the top, there is a lodge on the mountain, with restrooms, restaurants, full bar, and souvenir shops. This is also where the hiking trails begin. During winter you can cross-country ski, and snowshoe.
Avoid long lines by ordering tickets online.
View of the mountains and desert floor below. Incredible contrasts. Definitely bring warm clothes since the temps could vary up to 40 degrees.