Cool Down Up High: Tram Summer Pass

If toasty days have you dreaming of firs 'n fun, there's a place (and deal) for that.

STARING AT FROZEN PEAS IN THE FREEZER... can offer a momentary, much-desired chill during a toasty spate of weather, as can picturing a sprinkler on a lawn or a snowy peak in the heart of wintertime. But one of the only methods to truly taking your temp down a notch or two, and finding some fresh air in the midst of summertime's scorchiest afternoons, is to go to a spot that's quite literally above it all. No, the heights of Mount San Jacinto State Park aren't so high that they, somehow, in a strange fold of space and time escape actually being in summer; the summer season happens there, too. But it turns out that it is much more moderate, temperature-wise, and not quite as sweat-inducing, as the summer we're experiencing at elevations lower than the Palm Springs-close mountain. How to get up there, though, among the firs and trails, on a hot-hot July day? Let the...

PALM SPRINGS AERIAL TRAMWAY... whisk you from hottest summer to... cooler summer. No, there won't be snow drifts like January, but there will be a pleasant feel in the air. And your wallet, too, for the historical tram's Summer Pass makes the saving of money as fine as a lovely breeze. It's on from May 1 through Aug. 31, which just about covers some of our hottest months around Southern California, and it costs $80 for adults and seniors, and $40 for kids. What's that get you? How's this: "unlimited Tram admissions" during that window, as well as a few discounts, here and there, like at the restaurants (and, yep, you'll get 10% additional tickets, if your heat-avoiding friends who are pass-less want to join you). Best start planning your cooler getaways now, before the temps rise and you forget that you remembered to buy a Summer Pass to that up, up, up attraction, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

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