Francis Crocker’s vision for the Aerial Tramway first came about in the mid-1930s, although construction didn’t commence until 1960. Helicopters undertook more than 20,000 missions to deposit materials and workers on the mountain during the 26 months of construction. Since then, this engineering wonder has carried over 12 million visitors to the lofty heights of San Jacinto Mountain.
Although the actual ride from the floor of the Coachella Valley to the San Jacinto Mountain Station lasts just over 10 minutes, exploring this area deserves at least a few hours: the many hikes and views waiting at the top are sublime.
As you make the 5,873-foot (1,790-meter) ascent, the tram car completes two slow revolutions, providing a 360-degree panoramic view of the area. To the east, you’ll see Palm Springs and the Joshua Tree National Park. To the north are San Bernardino National Park and the San Gorgonio Mountain.
When disembarking at the Mountain Station, a viewing platform provides further photo opportunities. On a clear day, you’ll see the Salton Sea to the southeast, and possibly as far as Las Vegas and Mount Charleston to the north.
For lunch or dinner, make a reservation at the Peaks Restaurant atop the mountain. There are spectacular views and the fine dining menu includes fresh produce sourced from the Coachella Valley below. There’s also a nice children’s menu. For something more informal, grab a coffee and snack in the adjoining Pines Café.
During the busy warmer months, it’s advisable to buy tickets for the tram in advance from the website. The downside is that tickets are for a specific day and non-transferable, which may not be ideal if the weather is disagreeable.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station is a four-mile (6.5-kilometer) drive west of central Palm Springs. Free parking is available. The attraction is open daily (including holidays), with a tram car departing every half-hour.
Ensure you have plenty of time at Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Here are the top things to do:
If you're seeking even more activities, check out our Palm Springs things to do page.
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Friendly staff willing to help you, noise free and quite, easy access for the handy caped. very secure with coded gate entrances. Would stay again if in the area and need a place to stay. Thank You Staff Wayne McKenzie
Everything was awesome. Hai even had an assortment of unexpected treats available to us when we arrived. My wife and I were very impressed with the partially stocked fridge and food pantry. We use VRBO often and most owners do not provide eggs, sausage, coffee, hard cider etc. I would recommend that ...
THis is a remote location from the downtown Palm Springs (well, it is a really small town, so about 5-10 min drive to downtown), however the complex is quite nice, there is a swimming pool and jacuzzi outdoors, it is close to the tram, a must see there. Ample parking. Very thought through unit, nice ...
We loved our stay--the décor is lovely--the property is very well maintained--and the best part its quiet. Now the 4 lane highway is right there but it just didn't bother us. The view from the patio is so peaceful--looking right at palm trees and the pool. Now there were a few issues-for me not enough ...
Situated in Palm Springs, this villa is within 1 mi (2 km) of Palm Springs Visitor Center, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and San Jacinto Mountains. Palm Springs Convention Center and Palm Springs Art Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).