Palm Springs Tram
Golf and sunshine are the main magnets that draw visitors to Palm Springs, but a 10-minute ride will take you up into a snowy evergreen forest. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway climbs up to a mountain wilderness at 8,500 feet (2,590 meters). The Swiss-built tram floats over Chino Canyon and is the only rotating tram car in the Western hemisphere. From the top, look out over the irrigrated grids of Palm Springs and the other Desert Cities of the Coachella Valley, which descends to below sea level. Across to the northeast, beyond the San Andreas Fault, are the low mountains of Joshua Tree National Park. A network of hiking trails branches out from the tram chalet into the San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, which includes the highest peaks in Southern California. (Winter weekend crowds can be crazy; you've been warned.)
By Joseph Cyr, AFAR Local Expert
Palm Springs Tram
Palm Springs can feel like an adult playground, with golf courses, Rat Pack inspired hotels and bars, plus cool architecture and design stores. But between brunch and happy hour, a trip on the Palm Springs Aerial Tram will give you an amazing view of the Coachella Valley. From the top, you can see the line of the San Andreas Fault, as well as the Salton Sea. But you may want to skip the mimosa at brunch, because the tram rotates and sways as it rides up the side of the Chino Canyon. And bring a sweater, as the temperature at the top can be up to 30 degrees cooler than at the bottom
Best View of Palm Springs
This is a must-do if you're in Palm Springs! The Aerial Tramway takes you to an elevation of 8500 feet with spectacular views of the Coachella Valley. Once you're at the top, hike through Mount San Jacinto State Park. It's gorgeous! Note: The hiking trails aren't difficult, but they're not marked very well so it's easy to get off course.
Tram To The Top of Palm Springs
Rise above the arid Coachella Valley desert to the cooler altitudes of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument for sweeping vista views and 54 miles of hiking trails (or in winter - cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails). The aerial tram is the World’s Largest Rotating Tramcar and gains almost 6,000 feet in 10 minutes up the rugged Chino Canyon Cliffs. Pack a picnic or enjoy a meal at 8,500 feet-high Peaks Restaurant. For the more adventurous, set off for the second highest peak in southern California - Mount San Jacinto Peak (10,834 feet) - or to small mile-high mountain town Idyllwild to set up camp. Photo by Rex Brown/Flickr.
By Susan Mason, AFAR Local Expert
1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Sat, Sun 8am - 8pm
Mon - Fri 10am - 8pm