Friday, April 22, 2011

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

How would you like to go up to about 8500 feet in a revolving tram car to get a view of the desert below---the cities of Palm Springs, Desert Springs, and the valley? We thought we would, so we did! This ride features the world's largest rotating tram cars.  It's a 10 min. ride to the top starting from Valley Station, about 2600 feet high to Mountain Station, 8516 feet high. The car holds about 80 people, and as you climb to the top, the platform you are standing on turns very slowly so you get a 360 degree view of the mountainside and valley as you work your way to the top. It wasn't easy to get photos as the car was packed going up and coming back down, but here's a view (top photo). It was AMAZING to be that high up and to see the valley below!

As you go up the mountainside and pass through Chino Canyon, you travel through five life zones--from the Sonoran Desert to an Alpine wilderness...the temperature dropped from about 87 degrees to 54 degrees at the top..and there was still snow on the ground in spots! Woo-hoo! Sparky got another snow fix!

view at Mt. San Jacinto State Park
two kids at entrance to the state park
Up at the top is Mt. San Jacinto State Park which has 54 miles of hiking trails and some primitive campgrounds. At the top of the tram ride are two restaurants, viewing areas overlooking Coachella Valley, a natural history museum, a small movie theater and gift shops. We didn't hike today--Eldy's heel is still bothering him, and I pulled a muscle playing a hard game of pickleball just before we left Palm Creek...but there is a nice interpretive nature trail which is a self-guided nature walk with signs and great picnic areas to stop and enjoy the was 20.50 each for us to take the tram. We thought that was a decent price if you stayed awhile and explored the state park as well.....

Here's an idiot who went through a "closed" fence sign and climbed up on top of a big boulder to give a shout out to everybody below who had sense enough NOT to go there....

After we got back into Palm Springs, we decided to try a local restaurant called Azul's...very interesting place with lots of interesting people! There was a show being offered later in the evening, starring this statuesque lady who was really a man in drag.....We didn't stay for the show, but bet it was interesting. She, er, he, was going to do a show--impersonations of Judy Garland, Bette Midler, Carol Channing, and someone else. I'll bet it was a great one...she looked "fabulous, dahling"!

The food was very good, and my dessert was good, too! Isn't this a beautiful presentation? Unfortunately, being a connoisseur of creme brulee, I could tell they used granulated sugar instead of "superfine" and that just wasn't quite the way it was supposed to be!  Oh, well. A small price to pay for eating in Palm Springs and "hobnobbing" with the rich and famous. And no, Kerry, we have not seen anybody famous. We probably wouldn't recognize them if we did see somebody famous!....It's a good life, and we are certainly enjoying it to the fullest....It looks like we will stay a couple  more days at the Indio Fairgrounds for 20.00 a night...there are a couple of things we'd like to see in the area before moving on to Aguanga, CA...still our next destination..

We're going to explore some nearby RV parks and see how they compare to Palm Creek in Casa Grande, AZ, there's a festival this week in downtown Palm Springs and who knows where Eldo goes next.......


  1. Ooh, I don't think I would want to go up in one of those things.

  2. One of my very favourite rides is the Palm Springs Tramway - fantastic view. If you want a nice lunch or dinner, try Sherman's Deli and Bakery on Tahquitz Dr. in Palm Springs.