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SoCal Day Trip – Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

palm springs tramway old car

About two hours away from headquarters is down town Palm Springs. Not a bad drive as long as you time it outside of rush hour. It is almost the perfect distance for a SoCal day trip, which is what I did last week.

I have made the trip to Palm Springs a few times, but usually in the evening and have always wanted to see the aerial tramway. It takes you to Mountain Station – elevation 8,516 feet just under Mount San Jacinto. The day we got there it had just snowed the night before and it was beautiful. Glad I wore my running shoes and not flip-flops.


You get on to the new aerial tram, not the one I took the photo with above while on the ground the one immediately above this paragraph, and it takes about 11 minutes to reach the Mountain Station.  It spins around so you get to see all around you on the ride up and down.

Once at the top of the tram ride we took the “Desert View” trail, hypothetically to see the desert valley down below. Well, that did not happen as there was a cloud bank blocking the view of the valley. But that was fine, it was still a nice hike, about 1.5 miles, and it was nice to see a different side of Palm Springs.


There is wildlife up there, including bob cats, but we only saw a squirrel. Other hikers said they saw some deer on the trail but those were long gone by the time we came around.  I chalk that up to us talking and laughing so much while we were hiking

view from the top palm springs

If you get here later in the day, you can have dinner in one of the restaurants that have a view of the valley.  This would be wonderful for date night in SoCal.

So if you’re looking to see a different side of Palm Springs, I say hop on the tram and bring your hiking boots.  Make a day of it and bring snacks.

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  1. Those are beautiful pictures. Looks like you had fun!

    • I rarely take day trips that aren’t work related so this was quite the adventure for me.

  2. Gorgeous views up there, looks like a great ride.

  3. No way and no how would I be on that!

  4. This looks like so much fun, I love the mountains

  5. These are great photos and it looks like a great time. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I didn’t realize Palm Springs had an aerial tramway, I bet the views are stunning, I need to get on that!

    • It was breathtaking up there. I am sure that on a clear day the views are even better.

  7. Oh wow, this area of cali looks beautiful.