- Topic: Around The Coachella Valley
Things To Do in Palm Springs: Take a Ride on the Aerial Tramway
Living in the Coachella Valley in the summer months is incredibly hot. Of course, when living in the desert, having central air conditioning is a must, but what about outdoor activities. The Palm Springs area offers some of Southern California’s best hiking trails, especially during the cooler seasons. Still, if you prefer hiking in the summer, you should consider heading over to the Aerial Tramway.
The Palm Springs, CA Aerial Tramway is the world’s biggest rotating aerial tramway. It opened back in September 1963 to get from the Coachella Valley floor to close to the top of San Jacinto Peak. The elevation is more than 8,500 feet, so temperatures here are usually 40 degrees cooler than the floor of the valley.
In reality, a trip to Palm Springs is never complete without a ride up the tram. Once you have ascended to the top, you encounter a completely different universe while soaring through 4 separate temperate zones, which is analogous to traveling from Africa to Alaska. When it comes to the summit, you’ll find great hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing during winter, and some of the most amazing views on the planet. In addition, it is possible to see Las Vegas on a clear day.
Perhaps you are not the adventurous type but still want to enjoy the Coachella Valley’s cooler temperatures and breathtaking views. If that’s the case, you can find some great dining options at the top too.
Peaks Restaurant at Mountain Station is probably the most notable one of these options. It offers a unique dining experience that emphasizes fresh ingredients and savory cuisine guaranteed to please various tastes.
Selections range from classic bacon and avocado blue cheeseburger to romaine Caesar, ricotta fettuccini, and beet to 10oz natural filet mignon. Furthermore, there’s a decent list of California wines with more than 40 labels.
The Lookout Lounge is ideal for those looking for something more casual. It boasts a full cocktail bar that offers various alcoholic beverages and appetizers and is located on the same level as the restaurants.
It is always advisable to call ahead and ensure that these establishments are open for business before showing up hungry since you will find them sometimes closed for renovations.
Camping and Hiking
Mt. San Jacinto has over 50 miles of hiking trails located within a 14,000-acre pristine wilderness, one of the last in California. You can access all trails by exiting the Mountain Station and descending a concrete pathway to Long Valley, where you’ll find the ranger station, picnic tables, and some easy trails.
The Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area have six primitive campgrounds. You are required to camp only within the designated campgrounds. The picturesque Round Valley is closest to the Tram.
No matter their vaccination status, all visitors have to wear a mask while on the tram car. On some days, tickets can be bought at the Tramway once you arrive, but you will need to purchase tickets online on some days.
If the online tickets are sold out for any day, tickets will still be available, but you can only purchase them on the day of the Tram’s Valley Station visit. Children below three years are free but still require a boarding pass that can only be obtained on a Tram’s ticket booth visit.
Children below 16 years have to be accompanied by an adult of at least 21 years. The Tram prices are Children (ages 3 to 10): $16.95, Adults: $28.95, and Seniors (65+): $26.95. The Tramway will remain closed for annual maintenance from September 7, 2021, to October 3, 2021, with October 4, 2021, being the tentative reopening date.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
The Closet Guy
82058 Dunn Dr, Indio, CA 92203