If you’re planning a trip to the desert, be sure to make time for a ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world’s largest rotating tram car. This is an adventure suitable for any time of year. The temperature at the top is on average 30 degrees cooler than it is at the valley floor, so it’s a great way to cool off on super hot days, but we just visited in February and got to play in the snow!
It was about 80 degrees down below so even though there was snow on the ground at the top, it wasn’t cold. The sky was blue, the sun made the snow sparkle, it was just beautiful!
We arrived just after lunchtime, and took the shuttle from our parking lot to the tram. Our timing was perfect so we didn’t have to wait for more than a couple of minutes. The trip up takes just 10 minutes to get to 8,516 ft and my secret tip is to get on either first or last. If you’re traveling with a child, you don’t want to get packed into the middle of the car. We got in last and as the doors closed we were in the perfect position right up against the glass.
The views are breathtaking and because the tram rotates the view is constantly changing. It’s kind of intense when the tram bumps through the towers, but they warn you to hang on just before it starts rocking.
At the top, we first checked out one of the videos on the building of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. I found it fascinating, and Offspring was being a good sport, but I could tell she wasn’t captivated by the content so we wandered outside.
Here’s a short video from the LA Times that shows what you can expect from the ride.
I felt like I could have spent a week up there in the Mt. San Jacinto State Park, and if that’s your thing, you can do it. There are campsites, 50 miles of trails, even a ranger station. We wandered around and enjoyed the scenery for about an hour. I was hoping we’d be able to hike out to one of the scenic overlooks, but neither of us had proper footwear for hiking in snow, so we found a log to sit on for a little picnic before heading back.
There are two restaurants at the top, Peaks, a dining room with a stunning view of the Coachella Valley or the Pines Café, a cafeteria-style restaurant. Both restaurants are open for lunch and dinner. Last time I was up I had some really awesome chili at the Pines Café, but this time we had already eaten lunch so we carried water and a snack up with us.
Our trip up was hosted by the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway but the opinions expressed here are my own.
Looking for another family friendly activity in the Desert? Try tailgating at Polo!
19 thoughts on “Your Trip to the Coachella Valley Isn’t Complete Without a Ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway”
This is the most beautiful pictures I ever seen on the internet saving it for the future. thanks for sharing this
These are beautiful pictures. I would love to travel these snow covered nature’s beauty.
My family and I visit Palm Springs about 3x a year! We have never tried that tram, the view looks amazing.
I’d love to do that with my husband and son. Looks like a lot of fun and the views must be amazing.
That looks like a good ride. I aint sure if this is my type of jam. Will sure to be frightened to try this one.
Wow! This sounds really exciting and fun! I can’t wait to bring my family here. This will be really wonderful.
Sounds like a great way to spend your day especially if you want to have a laid back kind of tour. The view from there is amazing!
I’ve already wanted to go to Palm Springs for a visit. As a child, I remember riding the gondolas up to the top of the mountain. It was so much fun. I’ll have to do this with my kids one day.
What a pretty place to visit! I have never been out this way, and it sounds like a neat place to explore.
I have only been on one aerial ride like this, and not in Palm Springs. What a fun trip to experience. I bet the views were exceptional.
Wow! What a fun experience! We go snowboarding, but just at a local hill, so nothing as fancy as that tram!
This is so great! I’ve gotten so many ideas for our visit there this summer. This one is a must!
Oh my goodness this looks like an absolutely incredible way to see the area! The views from your photos look stunning, I bet seeing them first hand is breath taking.
The views of that Tramway look amazing. I would love to go on that adventure with the whole family and see it up close.
I have to make sure to check this out the next time I visit. It looks like a wonderful experience.
Hiking out there sounds like it would be nice. I’d have to remember to bring along some heavy duty gear! The views from the tram sound amazing!
How fun! I think I’d have a blast on that tramway. It’s such a gorgeous area.
wow these pictures are truly breath taking. i love all of it and def would love to try and get there someday
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