MAPLE LEOPARD: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: 360 Degrees of Wow

Monday, July 18, 2016

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: 360 Degrees of Wow

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway,
 in exchange for a review.  The tour was arranged by Palm Springs Tourism  Bureau.
 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

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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.

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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.

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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:
  • Hiking
  • Guided nature walks
  • Camping
  • 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

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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?



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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!

                                           XO VALERIE

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40 comments:

  1. What an amazing way to site see! I've never seen a tramway that rotates- such a great concept!

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    1. IT was such a cool sight..the floor rotating was crazy for sure, thanks for stopping!

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  2. Wow that would scare me! But your pictures are awesome and the weather looks nice :)

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    1. Thank you Mar, it did scare me.ha..but I put on my big girl pants and went for it!

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  3. Wow! You are my travel hero! Gorgeous photos and what a great experience. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Awe thank you Alison, that is so kind! Glad you enjoyed the photos!

      Valerie

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  4. This is so something I would want to do! I have never done anything similar other than a ski lift, which is totally different. Seems like such a beautiful view!

    http://www.melbeeblog.com

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    1. Thank you Melbee, I hope you can someday, such a cool experience!

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  5. Ok, this is officially going on my bucket list - absolutely STUNNING!! Thank you for sharing your experience and gorgeous photos!!

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    1. Thank you Kelsey ! I hope you can go soon, super gorgeous spot!

      Valerie

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  6. Awesome pics you got here babe. The heights though could make my heart jump triple times LOL! I love how you described your experience in this ride from the mountain, the nature up to your courage since you are not fond of heights. I really enjoyed reading this post Valerie! xx


    www.prettyweirdbombshell.com

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    1. Thank you Kandja for taking time to comment and for the kind words, I hope you have a great time in Europe...jealous.In a good way ;)

      xo

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  7. Wow! What a view! This looks like it was quite an experience!

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    1. HI Jennifer, yes it was a super fun experience! The scenery was so breathtaking!

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  8. Those are some amazing photos!!!! I have loved following along your adventures via instragram!!

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    1. Awe thank you so much Sarah, it was a fun experience!!

      Valerie

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  9. This looks so fun! I'm glad you are enjoying vacation - you deserve it! We all need time to unplug and just live!

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    1. Hey Portia, thanks for stopping by..I hope you are having a great summer as well! The sun has finally arrived in Seattle, ha !

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  10. What a fun adventure! Looks like you're having a good summer!

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    1. Thank you Susannah, very beautiful ride! I am having a great summer, hope your is great as well!

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  11. This view is too much! I would totally try to conquer my massive fear of heights for a ride like this.

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    Replies
    1. It is amazing..I had to conquer mine..ha ..barely, but I did! YOu can do it!

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  12. Even though we lived in New Mexico for a year, we never visited Palm Springs. The tramway looks like fun!

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    1. Hey thanks for stopping by, maybe you can visit sometime in the future!

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  13. I like the width and the outlook. This are amazing pictures. Thank you for sharing them with us!
    Sunny greetings from Germany!
    Sabine

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind comment and I would sooo love to visit Germany..all my ancestry comes from there! Both my parents have german roots!

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  14. I've been through Palm Springs once or twice and I can't think how I missed this! In a city that's almost always too hot for hiking, an air conditioned tram into the mountains sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Totally agree Erica...too hot is right..ha but its amazing the temperature fluctuation up there..it was a welcome reprieve and so beautiful!

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  15. Oh gosh, these things scare me so much, aaaack. Fantastic photos though!

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    1. Ha Ha Kristina I was terrified at first, but soon got over it as I was awestruck!

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  16. Wow looks like you're having fun, that place is incredible. Would love to visit it someday!

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    1. Thanks Clarissa glad you stopped by, hope you can!

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  17. wow, looks amazing - I love funiculars! Must have been a cool experience, and the views...! :)

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    1. It was a stunning view and kind of a fun ride, thanks Michaela!

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  18. Haha you've got more courage than me, but the views look absolutely outstanding! Glad you had a great time!

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    1. Ha Suzannah I barely had the gall to do it..had to push myself!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. It's a place i would definitely love to visit! :) It's nice to go over a mountain and have outdoor activities waiting there too!!! Thanks!!! ;)

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    1. I hope you get to..I want to camp at the top next time! Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Thank you Esther, HOpe you can try it some day..I want to camp there!

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