The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway—constructed in the rugged Chino Canyon on the north edge of Palm Springs—did not just happen; it required foresight, planning, financing and most of all, vision.
In 1935, electrical engineer Francis Crocker yearned to visit the peak of Mount San Jacinto on a trip to Banning, California, and thus the idea for “Crocker’s Folly” was born. Many roadblocks, however, stood in his way. A tramway-enabling bill passed the California State Legislature twice, but was then vetoed by Governor Culvert Olson both times. Things started to look up when a new tram bill was passed by Governor Earl Warren in 1945, which created the Mount San Jacinto Winter Park Authority. Crocker was named the first secretary for the organization, and his partner O. Earl Coffman was named the first chairman.
In 1950, designs started to be drawn for the tramway, and funds were accumulated through the sale of private revenue bonds. This $8.15 million in sales, along with the private donations of Culver Nichols, allowed the tramway to be built and operated without the aid of public funds.
What was then called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” opened in September of 1963, serving the first of what would eventually become nearly 18 million passengers for the 10-minute, 2.5-mile ride, two-and-a-half miles above the Coachella Valley.
At the Tram’s Mountain Station—elevation 8,516 feet and 30 degrees cooler than the desert floor—dine in two restaurants, enjoy viewpoints, hike over 50 miles of trails, watch two documentary films or visit the natural history museum. Overnight camping available with advance reservation.
In the winter (snow conditions permitting), enjoy snowshoeing, sledding or cross-county skiing in an Alpine wonderland.
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: First tram up 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: First tram up 8:00 a.m.
Daily – Last tram up 8:00 p.m. Last tram down 9:45 p.m.
Cars depart at least every half hour.
$24.95 seniors 65+
$16.95 children 3-10 years.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tram Way Palm Springs, CA. 92262