Friday, July 7, 2023

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - A Wheelchair Accessible Guide with Pictures

 Palm Springs, CA

April 2023

I made reservations for dinner near the top of a mountain buried in six feet of snow. For those not familiar with the Palm Springs region, San Jacinto Peak rises to almost 11,000ft. above sea level and over 8,000ft from the surrounding desert, making it the sixth most prominent peak in the lower forty-eight states. While you can reach the lofty summit by trail, I decided to take the easy path and booked a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

The tram takes riders from the valley to near the top in just 12 1/2 minutes. The station was completely accessible with an elevator to bypass the entrance stairs and the tram attendant had Kellisa board first which always makes it easier for everyone involved. The tram is 1 of only 3 in the world that rotates while ascending and descending the cables giving riders 360-degree views. Kellisa's favorite parts were when the tram passed over the support towers because the tram rocked and bounced more than usual. Everyone enjoyed her infectious giggles.

Once on top, we enjoyed the vast views, and Kellisa loved throwing snowballs at me. It didn't take long to get a little chilled and we went inside the mountain station. Kellisa warmed by the fire while I got our dinner. Our meal was hearty, and the atmosphere of the Pines Café was second to none. 

Before catching the second to last tram down for the night, we took one more look at the now fully lit valley far below. The tram attendant filled our ride back down the mountain with classic rock songs blasting from the speakers. Kellisa and most of the riders enjoyed singing "Sweet Home Alabama" in the darkness. 

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