Our only Saturday morning goal in Palm Springs, CA was to rise 8,516 feet aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and take in the breathtaking journey above the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon.
We begin the 12 minute ride at the Valley Station, elevation 2,643 feet, by way of the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. The tram swayed when we passed over each tower and it was fun… at first. It took about four minutes of spectacular 360 degree views and the floor spinning slowly to remind me that morning sickness and motion sickness are not a thing of the past. As the spinning quickened and excessive heat flushed over my face and body, I knew that I either needed to proudly sit down and announce that I’m pregnant or pass out and chance getting hurt. Well… the view from the floor was just as breathtaking and others not only seemed to understand but offered their sympathies.
There was a whole other world once we arrived: alpine scenery, a ski-lodge-flavored restaurant and gift shop, and temperatures typically 40° Fahrenheit cooler than the desert floor.
At the Mountain Station, we walked from the tram to the observation decks. There are 14,000 acres and 54 miles of hiking trails and rustic campgrounds for guests to explore. Although we only uncovered a small portion of the trails, we enjoyed the spectacular views of the scenic wilderness and surrounding wonderland.
Just off the Cascade Patio, we followed stairs to the Tram View Patio, with inviting picnic benches along the way. The unique view of the Tram cars and Chino Canyon was superior to any other mountain view in California. It offered an expansive glimpse of the beautiful San Jacinto State Park.
I’d love to return with my family and spend the evening camping in any of the primitive campsites designated throughout the park. The nature, adventure, and beauty are well worth the $5 camping fee. Whether simply enjoying the breathtaking view, relaxing over a delicious meal, taking a leisurely nature walk, or camping under the stars, the Palm Springs Aerial Tram is an ideal getaway any time of year.