Monday, September 15, 2014

Taking a ride on the Palm Springs aerial tramway...

I'm discovering that there's nothing like spending a few days in Palm Springs when you need to relax, as the high temperatures force you to spend all your time in the swimming pool sipping rosé wine or dozing inside in the air conditioning. On our most recent trip though we did venture out and take the aerial tramway to get a bird's eye view from 8,500 feet.

Old Palm Springs tram car
When you're staying in Palm Springs it's always so relaxing looking up at the magnificent San Jacinto Mountains which tower over the desert resort town, but it's equally impressive to take the tram to the top and look down too.
Palm Springs aerial tramway
Obviously this trip is not for those afraid of heights as the journey to the top takes about thirteen minutes and as you pass under the pylons the cable car sways back and fore and that's not to mention the whole tram car rotates giving you a very interesting riding experience up the steep incline.
Palm Springs aerial tramway
Of course it's all worth it for the spectacular views on the way up from the valley to the Mountain Station, where you travel from desert up to cooler alpine terrain.
Palm Springs aerial tramway
We were visiting at the start of September and had amazing clear skies our entire trip, compared to a year ago when we had thunderstorms and high winds (lots more swaying on the tramway), but in the winter you'll find snow and much cooler climes at the top of the mountains.
San Jacinto Mountains alpine forest
From the top you can look down over the rather flat Coachella Valley, the San Andreas Fault and Interstate 10 and it's almost as if you're looking down from the window of an airplane as everything seems so small and far away.
Coachella Valley View
We didn't go for a hike at the top of the mountain (we couldn't bear the idea of being away from the pool too long on our short stay), but instead decided to try a stop of lunch at the Mountain Station Peaks restaurant, which exceeded our dining expectations for a tourist attraction.
Coachella Valley View
I'm glad we took the time to try the tramway for our first time on this our fifth visit to Palm Springs, plus it was the perfect time of year just after the Labor Day weekend, so it was much quieter and we just caught it in time before its annual maintenance shutdown.
Palm Springs aerial tramway Chino Canyon
The rest our our trip with was filled with chilling out by the pool, checking out the Palm Springs Thursday night street fair and trig new restaurants and eateries. On the way back we even found time to stop off at the designer outlets at Desert Hills, so lots of new things on this trip.

Maybe next time in town we'll even go exploring at the top of the tramway, maybe...

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