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Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Glide over cliffs, wildlife and several vegetation zones as this glass-enclosed ride carries you up dramatic mountainsides.

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.


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Best Lodging Options Near Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

See all 2,011 Properties near Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Hilton Palm Springs Resort $125
Hilton Palm Springs Resort

Hilton Palm Springs Resort

400 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Palm Springs, this spa resort is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza Theatre and San Jacinto Mountains. Palm Springs Convention Center and Palm Springs Art Museum are also within 15 minutes.

    Lazy C Ranch
    Lazy C Ranch

    Lazy C Ranch

    88 Lazy C Ranch Rd, Palm Springs, CA
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in the mountains, this ranch is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from San Jacinto Mountains and within 6 mi (10 km) of Palm Springs Visitor Center and Desert Highland Park. Palm Springs Convention Center and Palm Springs Aerial Tramway are also within 9 mi (15 km).

      LAZY C RANCH - POOL, ANIMALS, DESERT RANCH EXPERIENCE
      LAZY C RANCH - POOL, ANIMALS, DESERT RANCH EXPERIENCE

      LAZY C RANCH - POOL, ANIMALS, DESERT RANCH EXPERIENCE

      Palm Springs, CA
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Palm Springs, this vacation home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from San Jacinto Mountains and within 6 mi (10 km) of Palm Springs Visitor Center and Desert Highland Park. Palm Springs Convention Center and Palm Springs Aerial Tramway are also within 9 mi (15 km).

        Tuscany Vista
        Tuscany Vista

        Tuscany Vista

        2255 N Milo Dr, Palm Springs, CA
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Little Tuscany, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Palm Springs Visitor Center and San Jacinto Mountains. Palm Springs Art Museum is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

          Stay In Your Own Private Romantic Guest House, Not A Condo!
          Stay In Your Own Private Romantic Guest House, Not A Condo!

          Stay In Your Own Private Romantic Guest House, Not A Condo!

          Palm Springs, CA
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Little Tuscany, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Palm Springs Visitor Center and San Jacinto Mountains. Palm Springs Art Museum is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

            Stay In Your Own Private Romantic Pool Side Guest House, Not A Condo!
            Stay In Your Own Private Romantic Pool Side Guest House, Not A Condo!

            Stay In Your Own Private Romantic Pool Side Guest House, Not A Condo!

            Palm Springs, CA
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Little Tuscany, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Palm Springs Visitor Center and San Jacinto Mountains. Palm Springs Art Museum is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

              Fabbo Pado - 4 Br Home
              Fabbo Pado - 4 Br Home

              Fabbo Pado - 4 Br Home

              1277 N Rose Avenue, Palm Springs, CA
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Palm Springs, this vacation home is steps from Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway and San Jacinto Mountains. Palm Springs Convention Center and Palm Springs Art Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                ARRIVE Palm Springs $189
                ARRIVE Palm Springs

                ARRIVE Palm Springs

                1551 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Uptown Design District, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Palm Springs Visitor Center. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is 5 mi (8.1 km) away.