Covering more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) on a 10-minute journey, the popular Palm Springs Aerial Tramway provides spectacular views of Chino Canyon and Mount San Jacinto State Park. Activities at the top—accessed by one of the largest rotating aerial tramcars in the world—are offered year-round.
The Palm Springs tramway takes you from the Valley Station (where you can purchase tickets if you didn’t buy in advance) up to the Mountain Station, which sits at an elevation of 8,516 feet (2,595 meters). At the top you can visit the observation deck, two restaurants (sit-down Peaks Restaurant and cafeteria-style Pine Café), the Lookout Lounge, theaters, a gift shop, and the small natural history museum. Or enjoy outdoor pursuits such as hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing, depending on the season.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is great for hikers and cross-country skiers, and first-time visitors to the area.
- Dress in layers—the temperatures at the Mountain Station are usually 30 to 40 degrees cooler than on the valley floor. Tramcars are not air-conditioned but the windows open for air flow.
- The tramcars run at least every half hour, on the hour; more cars may operate when demand is high.
- Both tramway stations and the tramcars are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
If you’re staying in Palm Springs, head west a few miles off of North Palm Canyon Drive (Highway 111) to reach the tramway’s Valley Station; paid parking is available (parking is free for area residents and for those with tramway summer or annual passes). There is no public transportation but cabs are available from Palm Springs.
When to Get There
The tramway is open daily from morning to night, but hours vary by season and day of the week, so check the website for times. It also closes for annual maintenance each September.
Hiking from the Top of the Tramway
More than 50 miles (80 kilometers) of hiking trails within Mt. San Jacinto State Park’s 14,000 acres (5,665 hectares) can be accessed from the tramway’s Mountain Station. When you get off the tram, walk down a paved path to the Long Valley Ranger Station, where the trails start.