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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.

Popular Activities at Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Ensure you have plenty of time at Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Here are the top things to do:

Do you want to make your visit that much more unique? A Full Day Tour of Palm Springs and a Palm Springs Aerial Tramway are both worth thinking about.

If you're seeking even more activities, check out our Palm Springs things to do page.


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Lodging Near Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

See all 1,635 Properties near Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Ivy Palm Resort & Spa $58
Reviewed on May 13, 2019
See details
 
Ivy Palm Resort & Spa

Ivy Palm Resort & Spa

2000 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA
     
    3.6 of 5
    2.0 out of 5.0

    Very beautiful area. Waking up to palm trees and mountains in the horizon was spectacular.

    Mykonos Desert Suites $104
    Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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    Mykonos Desert Suites

    Mykonos Desert Suites

    2300 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA
       
      4.1 of 5
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Mykonos is so pretty and clean employee was very kind.

      Infusion Beach Club
      Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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      Infusion Beach Club

      Infusion Beach Club

      1900 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
         
        4.1 of 5
        2.0 out of 5.0

        Everything was nice and clean. The rooms are super cozy!

        Palm Springs Inn $76
        Reviewed on May 19, 2019
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        Palm Springs Inn

        Palm Springs Inn

        2525 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
           
          3.4 of 5
          2.0 out of 5.0

          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

          Mountain & Pool View Condo Suite in Palm Springs California
          Reviewed on Apr 6, 2017
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          Mountain & Pool View Condo Suite in Palm Springs California

          Mountain & Pool View Condo Suite in Palm Springs California

          Palm Springs, CA
             
            5.0 of 5
            0.0 out of 5.0

            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 ...

            Quiet Lovely Condo/apartment. The City of Palm Springs ID # is 3455
            Reviewed on Jan 16, 2019
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            Quiet Lovely Condo/apartment. The City of Palm Springs ID # is 3455

            Quiet Lovely Condo/apartment. The City of Palm Springs ID # is 3455

            Palm Springs, CA
               
              4.6 of 5
              0.0 out of 5.0

              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 ...

              Luxury for Less! NEW End Unit-mountain & Pool Views! Cable & Wi-fi!
              Reviewed on Mar 14, 2019
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              Luxury for Less! NEW End Unit-mountain & Pool Views! Cable & Wi-fi!

              Luxury for Less! NEW End Unit-mountain & Pool Views! Cable & Wi-fi!

              Palm Springs, CA
                 
                4.4 of 5
                0.0 out of 5.0

                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 ...

                Villa Single
                Villa Single

                Villa Single

                2872 California 111, Palm Springs, CA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  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).