It’s time for another edition of “Perspectives,” a video showing my POV (point of view) of things I’ve done or come across during my travels. On a recent weekend getaway to the desert, I took a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. In only eleven minutes, passengers are swiftly transported from the floor of the Coachella Valley to Mt. San Jacinto State Park, at an elevation 8,516 ft (2,596 m) above sea level. From this brief video you can get a sense of what it was like for yourself!
The two-and-a-half mile journey passes through five unique life zones on its ascent through steep, rocky Chino Canyon. Recorded narration provides interesting facts and trivia about the tramway and its history. They say it’s like traveling from the Sonoran desert of Mexico to the alpine wilderness of Alaska in only a few minutes. What makes the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway unique is that the cabin floor slowly rotates, so passengers can enjoy spectacular views of every direction without changing position.
What a difference eleven minutes makes! On my visit, it was a sweltering 110°F (43°C) in Palm Springs but a crisp and refreshing 68°F (20°C) at the top of the mountain. Several viewing platforms offer unbelievable panoramic vistas of the barren desert eight thousand feet below. Visitors can exit the rear of the building to access 14,000 acres of pristine wilderness. The State Park offers miles of picturesque nature trails for hiking and areas for picnicking and camping too. In winter and early spring, it’s even possible to take the tram up and play in the snow. The Mountain Station features a café, a restaurant, a cocktail lounge and of course, a gift shop.
|When: Cars depart at least every half hour. Monday-Friday: first tram up 10 a.m. Saturday, Sunday & holidays: first tram up 8 a.m. Last Tram up 8 p.m. and last tram down 9:45 p.m. * Note that the Tramway’s annual maintenance is scheduled for September 12-25, tentatively reopening September 26.|
|Where: 1 Tramway Road, Palm Springs, California (760) 325-1391 Google Map
|For more information: Visit the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway website
Here are some photos I took on my adventure: