All opinions are my own.
Good Morning! Hi there, yes I am still alive and kicking! I apologize for being absent from here so long. I have been on vacation in California for two weeks, and took a break from blogging. I had a great time and have so much wonderful content to share with you over the next few weeks.
It seems like I have been all over the state and back. We started out in Los Angeles, spent time at 5 different beaches, San Diego, Palm Springs, San Jose, and San Fransisco. Now my fuel has been fired to pack up and move south. We will see how that pans out!
Today I am excited to share with you, my visit to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
Photography : Valerie Hansen
Welcome to my tour of one of the World's greatest wonders. I visited Palm Springs 35 years ago, but never had the chance to ride the tramway.
The Aerial Tramway is one of the most unique adventures to take in. It is an engineering marvel that features the world's largest rotating tram car, that wisks you two-and-one-half miles to the top of the mountain, where beautiful nature and a pristine wildnerness await you.
Being afraid of heights, I was just a tad bit nervous to jump into the tram! The adrenaline was in full swing when the car started up the mountain. Ha ha no pun intended, because the car really does make huge swings ,AND the floor rotates at the same time: as it makes it way up to the top! I was snapping pictures out the large windows like a crazy woman, while hanging on for dear life! No worries though, it's safe ride.
On the ascent, we passed through five unique life zones:
- Zone 1: Sonoran( to 3500 ft)
- Zone 2: Upper Sonoran (to 4500 ft)
- Zone 3: Lower transition (to 5500 ft)
- Zone 4: Upper transition (to 7000 ft)
- Zone 5: Arctic Alpine (to 10,834 ft)
The adventure begins at the Valley Station at the bottom of the canyon, at an elevation of 2, 634 ft. The trip is 10 minutes of pure exhilaration and excitement. At the top it is a scenic wonderland. San Jacinto State Park has 54 miles of hiking trails, campgrounds, a ranger center, and an adventure center for winter activities.
The tramway is an major gateway for the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains, and also the Coachella Valley. The area has many amazing plants and 14 animals species, including birds. I was hoping to run into a bob cat, as I am a total cat fiend- luckily for me they were off somewhere sleeping!
Activities and Amenities Offered at the Park:
- Guided nature walks
- 2 gift shops
- 2 restaurants
- Adventure center( skiing and snow shoeing)
- Viewing decks
- Movie theater ( film tracing the history of the park)
- Ranger Station
What I found amazing was the fluctuation in temperature. Palm Springs has a very hot desert temperature this time of year. It was a sizzling 118 degrees in the city, thank God for pools! The temps at the top of the mountain were around 65-70. The winter months fluctuate up there with temperatures in the 50's to below freezing. Sometimes there can be several inches or feet of snow on the ground: hard to believe for a desert location!
Last but not least , I wanted to share some interesting facts about the tram car:
- Model: Largest in the world- only one of its kind in the western hemisphere
- Manufacturer: Von Roll Tramway ltd- Otlen Switzerland
- Interior dimensions: 18 ft in diameter, 8 ft high
- Capacity: up to 80 passengers, 35,600 pounds
- Rotation: slow cabin floor rotation-twice per trip on ascent and descent
- Cables: actual length traveled by cars- 12,708 ft
- Cable Towers: Total of 5-first tower is the tallest at 227ft
I hope you enjoyed learning about this amazing wonder, and if you are in the area be sure and take a ride. Of all the travel adventures I have taken, this ride was one for the books! Have you ever rode on something similar to this? How did you enjoy the experience?
I still can't believe I rode on that thing, I must be getting braver in my middle age journey! I hope you have a great week. Any exciting plans for you coming up? Stay tuned- more posts coming this week from the Golden State. If you loved this post, head over to Instagram for a live video of the ride! Thanks for the visit!