A thrilling cable car ride shuttles visitors from the desert floor to the heights of Mt. San Jacinto—you might ... More
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
A thrilling cable car ride shuttles visitors from the desert floor to the heights of Mt. San Jacinto—you might experience a 40-degree temperature drop in just a few minutes. While many visitors just hop up for the view, it can be a starting point for many outdoor activities like hiking and mule rides. At the top, you'll also find a cocktail bar and restaurant with stunning views.
When my wife and I arrived in Palm Springs It was 100 on the ground. We got to the top and It was freezing with snow everywhere. It was breath taking with lots of hiking trails and people sliding around.
I can see why some people had disappointing experiences, but I'd still recommend this highly. I've gone in July, February and January, if not more. In the summer, it's a great escape from the heat with hiking at the top. In early January, we spent the day inside enjoying the Christmas tree and watching the snow fall. One February we went out in the snow, and I'd like to go back on a less-windy, icy day and actually rent snowshoes.
The night view is not as good as I'd hoped for, especially if it's snowing. The restaurant is pricey for the quality, but tolerable. Best to pack a picnic and some card games and a good book and plan on making a day or evening of it. The movie about the construction of the tramway is fascinating and I never tire of seeing it.
Went on x-mas day and what a mistake, did not think it would be that crowded, but it was, they said the wait was 3 hours so we waited, Of course we spent the high prices on their food and drink. The bathrooms were a total pig pen and there was no where to sit and wait. The employees were rude when you wanted to ask them a question, after 3 hours they said it would be another hour or so, so we just ended up leaving, never again.
We went up March, 2009 and the ride was nice. The view at the top was very hazy not so great and nothing to do there. Don't eat at the top. There was a cafeteria dinner included in the dinner ride and it was awful. We left with pains in our stomachs. The food had sat too long.
OMG! What didn't I like! This is a once in a lifetime experience, that I would recommend to anyone. Beautiful scenery, and what a cool way to go up a mountain. If you're ever in the area you've just GOT TO GO!!!
We went to the tram in July, to see the views that everyone raves about. What we saw was the smog haze over the valley. It's much cooler up here however, so that was relaxing. We read the reviews before, and it seemed the cafeteria style restaurant was not so great, so we didn't go for the ride-and-dine option. We choose to eat at the "fancier" restaurant instead. It was a big costly mistake. It was 10 minutes to dinner menu, but they wouldn't give us the option of choosing from it even though there were more items on it for us to eat. We don't eat beef, pork or poultry, and we wanted to try the salmon dish. It took the waiter a long time to come out to us on the deck to give us water and the menu too. We ordered the trio antipasti, calafia chrimp calamari, and margherite penne with shrimp. Sounds pretty good, but: The red pepper hummus on the trio antipasti was dried a weird orange with a rather thick crust (meaning it's been sitting on the dish for a long time), the baguette tasted stale, the olives were black olives from a can, the best thing was the fresh tomato salsa. The penne had very thick old woody asparagus even though the grocers in palm springs were selling young asparagus. I had never seen such huge asparagus before. The grocers wouldn't even sell it. It was watery and tasteless except for the canned artichokes and the shrimp was boiled shrimp. The basil, vine-ripened dried tomato and garlic promised were non-existent in the dish. It looked like penne with some watery white liquid with yellow-green huge asparagus chunks with boiled shrimp on top. The Shrimp Calamari was cooked in OLD oil. Some of it came out looking like it had been cooked twice, like leftovers stuck to the fryer, or reheated leftovers. It was very brown, and extremely greasy without flavour. We never saw the waiter after serving our meal, even though our drinks needed refreshing. The cost of the meal was roughly $50. To make it worse, the Pines cafe ride-and-dine meal looked nicer, with corn on the cob and fresh green brocolli. The trails were badly marked, and it was hard to figure out where to go and which trail you were on. It was a nice stroll through the meadow section however. They didn't advertise well for some features of the building, such as the movie theatre, which we discovered as we explored the entire building. there is also wilderness hiking and an overnight camping area. It was playing a movie at the time. We spent a few hours up in the shade reading, and the cool breeze was very nice. However, the food left us with extremely bloated stomachs and uncomfortable, so going hiking went out of the day plan. It turned out to be food poisoning.
All in all, it was about $100 for 2 people to get up there. If we hadn't gotten the bad food, we might have enjoyed our stay up there much more.
So to travellers, if you Must go on the Tram, pack a picnic lunch and water, and don't eat at the restaurant.
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