Destination: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Snow & spectacular views from Palm Springs Tramway at the top of the world!
Palm Springs, the desert oasis that features bubbling hot spas and dozens of lush green golf courses, also offers a winter wonderland. Yes, really.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway gives the desert visitors a chance to enjoy the magical sight of freshly fallen snow this time of year.
As the tramway carries you almost two miles up the mountain, it seems you could reach out and touch the sky. From the top of the ride you’ll see a magnificent view of the Coachella Valley far below, a sight unparalleled in Southern California.
For snow buffs, the mountaintop is covered with the powdery stuff much of the year, in addition to a variety of flora and fauna. Since there are various wild creatures that call the mountaintop home, no pets are allowed to go up on the tram.
The historic tramway is an engineering marvel located off Highway 111 on the perimeter of Palm Springs. It was dubbed “the eighth wonder of the world” when it opened in 1963.
After an extensive upgrading and modernization of the facilities in recent years, the unique people mover now features the world’s largest rotating trams, providing an unforgettable journey to the top of Mount San Jacinto. Along the way you view the jagged cliff and rock formations of Chino Canyon.
Photographers have a field day with the breathtaking vistas. The high-altitude scenery is spectacular.
Over the years, the small alpine village at the top has played host to dozens of movies and television shows. Among them the Matt Helm movies and Hanging By a Thread, plus a memorable Columbo TV movie, and episodes of General Hospital.
The Food Network has even featured the mountain top restaurants. With vast windows framing the magnificent views, Peaks Restaurant offers fine dining, while The Pines Café is appealing to more casual customers with its cafeteria-style. Both are open for lunch and dinner.
A special Ride’n’Dine” ticket is a real bargain, and senior discounts are offered. If you just want cocktails or coffee, the Lookout Lounge is a great place to relax, and don’t forget the Mountain gift shop.
For nature enthusiasts, free guided walks are available. In all, there are 54 miles of trails over the 14,000 acres of pristine wilderness. Cross-country skiing will begin soon, and camping is available in San Jacinto State Park.
Visitors are advised to come prepared, bringing heavy winter wear, regardless of the temperature in Palm Springs. Warm jackets, gloves and boots or waterproof shoes are advised.
Lena Zimmerschied, public affairs manager, reminds that for Southern Californians who have never seen snow, “this is the most beautiful place to enjoy a romp in fresh clean snow.”
A visit to the special place makes you feel like you are on top of the world.
For the convenience of visitors, the tramway lists daily weather reports, information on parking and facilities, rates, etc. at 888-515-TRAM, or visit www.pstramway.com.