Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Revolving, 80-passenger gondolas with picture windows ascend the vertiginous face of the San Jacinto range on cables suspended from five towers anchored in the rocky slope. The journey (10min) from the bottom station (2,643ft above sea level) to the mountain station (8,516ft) crosses five distinct biotic zones, from barren desert to alpine forest where snow lies deep through the winter. En route, spectacular views stretch over the crags below, culminating in an expansive vista across the Coachella Valley to the highlands of Joshua Tree National Park and well beyond. The mountain station, housing a restaurant, souvenir shop and video program on the construction of the tramway in the early 1960s, serves as a base for exploration of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Activities include hiking to the 10,804ft summit, cross-country skiing and snowshoe trekking (Nov-Apr) and guided mule rides.