Now that the summer heat is in full force here in the Coachella Valley, many locals and visitors are looking for easy day trips to cooler weather. If a lengthy drive to Joshua Tree or Idyllwild isn’t an option, then don’t miss the Palm Springs Aerial Tram. Located just about 15 minutes from Aqua Soleil Hotel the Tram’s Valley Station, it is an easy drive (or Uber) for guests hoping to cool off.
The Palm Springs Tram is the largest rotating tram in the world and travels over 2 ½ miles from the Valley Station (located on Tramway Road) to the Mountain Station (at 8,500 feet of elevation). The 10-minute tram ride takes passengers on a beautiful journey through Chino Canyon’s rugged cliffs from the desert topography of cactus and rocks to a mountain paradise of majestic pines and abundant nature. Since the temperatures at the mountain station average 20-30 degrees cooler than the desert floor, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities like guided nature walks and hiking. The mountain station is also home to a natural history museum, gift shop, two theaters, and two restaurants serving up grab & go options or sit down meals.
If you plan to enjoy a hike, be sure to check in with the Ranger Station. It is located in Long Valley, just down the concrete path leaving the mountain tram station. All hikers are required to sign in, and maps of the 54 miles of trails are available. For those hoping to summit Mt. San Jacinto, it is a moderate 11-mile round trip hike from the mountain station.
Pro Tip: If you plan to enjoy the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, especially during peak summer weekends, be sure to purchase tickets in advance online. Same day tickets must be purchased at the Tram’s Valley Station.
For more information on the tram, hiking, dining, or current weather for the peak, check out the website.
Written by Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki