Visit the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Coachella Valley, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a great way to get a bit of adventure and some breathtaking views on your Palm Springs vacation. This iconic attraction ascends 2 and 1/2 miles up a mountain in just 10 minutes, offering up incredible views along the way, pristine wilderness, and even a restaurant at the top. This is an activity we recommend for all of our Palm Springs guests, especially if you haven't done it before!
Your adventure begins at the Valley Station, located just a short drive from downtown Palm Springs. As you board the world's largest rotating tramcar, anticipation builds for the thrilling ascent up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon. The tramcar rotates slowly, offering panoramic vistas of the valley below. Keep your camera ready because the views become increasingly awe-inspiring with every passing minute.
The tramcar takes you to the Mountain Station, where you'll find yourself amidst the pristine wilderness of Mount San Jacinto State Park. Take note that the temperature drops quite a bit up here, so make sure you're prepared for cooler temps. It can even snow up here in the winter, which is truly a magical sight!
There are several trails you can enjoy in the State Park at the top. Whether you're an avid hiker or a casual nature enthusiast, there's a trail for everyone with options ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes. No matter which trail you choose, you'll have the chance to encounter local flora and fauna and incredible views.
The tram experience changes with the seasons in Palm Springs. In the summer, the Tram is a welcome relief from the heat at the valley floor, making it an ideal place to hike and escape the hot desert sun. And in the winter, visitors can enjoy snow sports like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Bird's Eye Views and Dining in the Clouds
The observation decks at the Mountain Station provide sweeping views of the Coachella Valley, the San Andreas Fault, and even glimpses of the Salton Sea in the distance. These view points are perfect for photography and a great way to get a sense of the region's unique geography.
After exploring the natural beauty, you can refuel at the restaurants at the top, both open for lunch and dinner. The Pines Café is the more casual of the two, offering a cafeteria style restaurant with grab & go options as well. The Peaks is a fine dining restaurant, serving fresh vegetables and greens from the Coachella Valley, a variety of pastas, dry aged meats and poultry, and freshly baked bread. Both dining options offer not only delicious food, breathtaking views of the valley below. You can also enjoy a cocktail and an appetizer at Lookout Lounge, a full bar that offers panoramic views. You really can't go wrong! Both the Pines Cafe and Peaks Restaurant even do a special Thanksgiving meal - reservations are required.
The next time you visit Palm Springs, don't miss the chance to ascend to adventure and explore the majestic Mount San Jacinto State Park from a truly unique perspective!