Palm Springs Tram: High-Elevation Hikes

Catch the famous ride up the mountain and then set off on your pine-pretty trek.

SNOW IS SWEET: No one is going to quibble with you over your affection for the cold, flaky, winter-wonderful stuff that sometimes falls at Mountain Station at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. For spying snow when you disembark from the world-famous tram is a treat. Also a treat? Enjoying the brrr-ful action while gazing upon the snow-free desert floor far, far below. Call it a charming study in contrasts, and photo-worthy, too. And call it a sight many tram visitors long to see right around January, February, and even into March. But when we nudge up against springtime, and the equinox, and all of those ocotillo and cactus flowers bursting around the Coachella Valley, we can long to make a snow-less hike in the upper reaches of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. And there are paths, and trails, and tree-lined rambles aplenty up beyond Mountain Station. How to get there? Well, buy your tram ticket and take the ride up, up, up, and then head out for some incredibly clear and crisp air, some looong views, and a day of sun, exercise, and peace.

HIKE SEASON... is almost here, and barring any more snowfall — which could definitely happen, given what we've seen over the past few months — you'll soon be able to hit those high-elevation trails in shorts and a tee. But check the weather first, as Mountain Station sits at over 8,500, and study up on the hiking trails (the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway offers up this not-to-scale map). There's a lot of wilderness up there, with over 14,000 acres to admire, and slew of summery days-to-come, the kind of days that are downright toasty in Palm Springs but mellow and temperate up Mt. San Jacinto. Tempted to know more about these great trails? Grab your walking pole and trek this way.

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