In 1935, an overheated electrical engineer named Francis F. Crocker dreamed of a way to reach the cool, snowy heights of San Jacinto Peak. Because of his vision, visitors to Palm Springs have been able to experience a touch of the alpine with ease since 1963, when the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was completed. Unusual rotating floors in the tram cars ensured that I could see memorable views in every direction during the 10-minute journey up. More sweeping panoramas can be had from viewing terraces at the top, but I particularly enjoyed descending into the snowy forest, the clean, cool air scented with pine. If you have proper boots, it’s possible to take a refreshing hike through the woods, though most people seemed content to enjoy the views and keep to the paved path near the visitor center. In any case, it’s delightfully novel to move between desert and alpine landscapes in the space of a few minutes. 1 TRAM WAY, PALM SPRINGS. TEL. (888) 515-8726. PSTRAMWAY.COM
Read more about Palm Springs in the June 2013 Hideaway Report.