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The Palm Springs Aerial Tram (www.pstramway.com) is often called the 8th “Wonder of the World” because of its unique architecture. This year, the modern wonder is celebrating its 60th anniversary, so I thought it would be a good time to visit, and spend a few days relaxing in the warm paradise of Palm Springs.
My trip to the area began at the beautiful Renaissance Palm Springs hotel, where my family and I checked into the top suite for two nights. The master suite came with two king-size beds, a refrigerator, coffee maker, office desk, comfortable chairs, a large bathroom with a tub/shower, and a balcony overlooking the property’s large sparkling pool.
After the suite, the Renaissance Hotel also has restaurants and bars, a fitness center, a shopping center, meeting facilities, and free Wi-Fi. My favorite part of the hotel was the large outdoor pool area, where guests can sit under umbrellas or in private terraces between dips.
This hotel is located in Downtown Palm Springs and is close to swaying palm trees, giant windmills, and the majestic San Jacinto Mountains. After checking in with the hotel, we walked a few kilometers through town to the Aerial Tram for a fun ride up the hill.
Our journey began at the base of Mt San Jacinto, at the Valley Station at an elevation of 2,643 meters. There we picked up our tickets and boarded the pumpkin-shaped car, which can hold 80 people. Once inside, the conductor closed the doors and the train began to climb straight for miles of rocks.
The train is pulled by a 12,000 ft cable and passes five large support towers along the way. At each tower, the car vibrates and vibrates, which makes the passengers very happy. Inside the tram, all passengers have a good view of the Coachella Valley because the car rotates 360 degrees. According to the authorities, these are the largest rotating cars in the world!
During the ride, guests are transported through five unique experiences – changing places and lifestyles, similar to driving from Sonora, Mexico to the Arctic Circle in Alaska. It makes the trip in under 11 minutes!
While enjoying the trip, I was impressed with the ideas and I thought about the big problem that was there in building this project. It all started in 1935 when a young engineer named Francis Crocker was sweating in the desert of Palm Springs when he looked up and saw that there was snow on top of Mount San Jacinto. There must be an easy way to get to that snow, he thought. And with this, the dream of a mountain tram was born.
After years of planning and political difficulties, a document was published in 1945 to build a train on top of the mountain. Author In the 1950s, engineers were planning and planning construction until the Korean War delayed it for 10 years.
In order to overcome the challenges of building on the side of a rock mountain, engineers used helicopters to help build four of the five existing towers. Because of this, the train was named “The Eighth Wonder of the World” and was designated as a historical landmark. The train was officially completed in 1963.
The mountain railway ends at Mountain Station at 8,516 ft above sea level. There is a guest house with two restaurants, a gift shop, a small museum, and many other places to explore in the valley.
Outside the tourist center is Mt. San Jacinto State Park, which offers 54 miles of hiking trails and a few primitive campgrounds on 13,000 acres of wilderness. The weather is usually cold around 30 to 40 degrees, so riders should bring a jacket. Once outside, we climbed into the Long Valley, following a three-by-four mile trail through a large swamp.
The temperature was about 55 degrees and the meadow had tall pine trees and plants and grass. Along the way, we scratched the dark bark of a Jeffrey pine tree (the most common tree in the valley) and breathed in its natural aromas of vanilla and butterscotch. There was also a small dangerous river that ran through the valley.
After our hike we returned to the visitor center and had lunch at Pine’s Cafe, where we enjoyed chicken tenders, a deli sandwich, and the best pizza I’ve had in a long time. The Airplane Tram also offers a special ride with a ticket that includes dinner from 4:00 p.m. daily and food service from 4:30 p.m. Combined ticket prices are $38.00 for adults and $24.50 for children ages 3-10. .
After lunch, we bought a t-shirt at the gift shop, and a gold souvenir for $5, and then relaxed on the tower Mountain Station, looking down at the entire valley of the Palm Springs desert, and views from the Salton Sea to San. Gorgonio Pass.
Back at the Renaissance Hotel, we sat by the pool in our own private room, equipped with a small fridge, comfortable sofas, high chairs, and plenty of shade and privacy. Cabanas are available to rent from the front desk. For more hotel information, visit: https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/pspbr-renaissance-palm-springs-hotel/overview/
The Palm Springs Airport is located at One Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262. Tickets are $29.95 for adults, $17.95 for children 3 – 10, and $27.95 for seniors. For more information call 888.515.TRAM or visit: www.pstramway.com