I love traveling to California, because the time difference allows me to wake up earlier and pack more activities into my day. Early Saturday morning, we decided to take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway beforehand. I highly recommend booking your tickets online in advance to secure an exact time. Since it was sort of a last minute decision for us, we ended up having to purchase our tickets in person. There was already a large crowd lined up when we arrived in the morning, and we were assigned tickets for a later tram.
The tramway, constructed in Chino Canyon, takes you from the floor of the Coachella Valley close to the the top of San Jacinto Peak. The 10-minute, 2.5-mile ride, begins at Valley Station (elevation 2,643 feet) and ends at the Mountain Station (elevation 8,516 feet). Once you get to the Mountain Station there are two restaurants, a cocktail lounge, observation decks, a small museum, 2 theaters, and over 50 miles of hiking trails.
Hiking (beyond the ranger station) and camping both require permits. Hiking permits can be obtained at no charge, and camping permits are $5 per person. We didn’t realize how many people took the tramway just to hike/climb/camp, and felt quite silly in our outfits that we had worn to take blog photos. To each his own…
The views from San Jacinto peak were breathtaking, and the 30 degree temperature drop was a welcome reprieve from the hot desert climate below. Next time, I’d love to have time to hike a little bit, but we got some great shots just walking around the Mountain Station.
Click here to learn more about the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and book your tickets!