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How to Ride The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

How to Ride The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Glide through the skies and experience Mount San Jacinto in a new way by riding The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Team


2 min read

July 05, 2023

Perched in the heart of sunny California is the world's largest rotating aerial tramway, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. This must-visit attraction in the Coachella Valley effortlessly transports you from the warm desert floor to the crisp, cool air of the San Jacinto Mountains in mere minutes.

Location and How to Get There

Located at One Tram Way, Palm Springs, the Tramway is easy to reach from downtown Palm Springs. Take North Palm Canyon Drive towards the mountains. The road becomes Tramway Road, leading you directly to the Valley Station. Ample parking is available on-site.

Nearly 18 million people have traveled on the popular Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

Hours and Tickets

The Tramway operates Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekends. The Tram is also open on all major holidays, often with special holiday dining options. Round trip tickets are  $30.95 for adults, $18.95 for children aged 3-10, and $28.95 for seniors aged 65+. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Valley Station, but plan ahead during peak times, as it can get busy. A Summer Pass can be purchased for $85 for adults and seniors and $45 for children. Summer Passes are available May 1 - August 31. The Annual Pass is available for $165 for adults and seniors and $95 for children. 

You can spend a little more the day of your trip for a Ride 'n' Dine ticket, which includes round trip fare and dining in Pines Cafe. This package is available after 4 p.m. and costs $41 for adults and $27.50 for children.

The tickets for the tramway are affordable and are a gateway to Mount San Jacinto State Park.

The Journey

Your adventure begins at the Valley Station, where you board one of the tramway's rotating tram cars. As the tram gently ascends and descends, you're treated to a 360-degree panorama of the valley and the striking cliffs of Chino Canyon. In just 10 minutes, you'll traverse over two and a half miles, reaching the Mountain Station at an elevation of 8,516 feet. Be sure to pack warm clothing, as it can be as much as 30 degrees cooler at the summit.

The view while riding the tramway is a fantastic way to view the beautiful environment from a unique angle.

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At the Top

The Mountain Station is your gateway to the San Jacinto State Park, offering 54 miles of hiking trails. Be sure to stop by the State Park Visitor Center for trail maps and local information. For those less inclined to hit the trails, the observation decks offer stunning, unobstructed views of the Coachella Valley.

Dining and Amenities

Your dining options at the top include the elegant Peaks Restaurant, perfect for a gourmet meal with a view, or the Pines Cafe for a casual, cafeteria-style meal. Pines Cafe is at Mountain Station and also includes prepackaged sandwiches and salads to purchase. The Peaks Restaurant at Mountain Station is a more elegant experience with fresh veggies, market-fresh seafood, pastas, and high-end meats. The Lookout Lounge at Mountain Station serves a variety of beverages and traditional bar food appetizers,

Cascade Cafe is at Valley Station and is a low-key shop that serves a selection of lunch foods like pizza, sandwiches, and snacks like chips and cookies. This is a great place to grab a coffee to keep you going through the day or grab a quick snack before embarking on your trip. Don't forget to visit the gift shop for souvenirs or the natural history museum to learn about the local flora and fauna.

Enjoy a tasty meal after riding the tramway, perfect for fueling up before a potential hike.

Planning Your Visit

Each season offers a unique experience, from comfortable hiking in the spring and summer, a colorful display in autumn, to a snowy wonderland in winter. Before your visit, check the local weather and remember that it can be much cooler at the top of the mountain.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway provides an unforgettable blend of stunning views, outdoor adventure, and serene escape from the city heat. With a little planning, your visit to this iconic Californian attraction will be a memorable high point of your trip to Palm Springs.

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