Friday, June 14, 2019

Birthday Hike at Palm Springs Aerial Tramway #June9 #BirthdayGirl

Hello! I hope you have been well. I have been busy, but I took some time to celebrate my birthday. On June 9th, I celebrated another year of life, completing various challenging hikes at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in Mt. San Jacinto State Park. If you enjoy hiking, camping ($5 per person for permit), or just spending time in nature as I do, you will enjoy this place. There is a cute, little, museum and fine dining at Peaks Restaurant. 

Best Time to Arrive
Once you arrive at the large "Palm Springs Aerial Tramway" sign at Tram Way road, you still have approximately 3 miles to drive up a steep hill to get to the official entrance to purchase your parking. The parking fee right now is $8, which was reasonable.

I arrived at 9:00 am but had to catch the 9:15 am tram. Make sure to arrive 10 mins early before the tram time on your ticket. However, it was easy to stand in line and get a new card for the next tram. I do recommend that you arrive early to avoid the queues and park in LOT A, if possible, to avoid taking a shuttle. When I left at 2:30 pm on Sunday, the parking lot was packed! 

Purchase Tickets
I purchased my ticket online, and you can use the 'print-at-home' option or save it on your phone to have it scanned. Make sure that you have access to your ticket before heading up the mountain to the entrance because there is limited-to-NO Internet service. They have summer, annual, and ride 'n' dine passes. 

Riding the Tram
Once you have your tickets, make sure to have your bags open to be checked before entering the boarding room area. You can get your picture taken and see how it turned out once you reach the top. They will direct you onto the tram, and it is approximately a 10-minute ride while standing. It is very scenic, and the floor rotates 360 degrees so you can see from all perspectives as you ride up the mountain. Place all backpacks between your legs and camping gear is stacked, neatly, together. They try to get as many people safely on the tram as possible so you may feel as if you are closer than usual to your neighbor. That was alright with me :)

Mountain Station
When I arrived at the top, there were restrooms, a museum, and a place to get coffee and snacks. I brought hot tea with me, so I was good to go. The hike down to the first two short hikes (guided if you prefer), Desert View Trail and the Nature Trail, were comfortable, but save some energy for the walk back up to the tram. It will challenge your endurance!!

Notch 1 of the Desert View Trail

Wilderness Area (For challenging hikes)
After eating the lunch I brought, I decided to get a free hiking permit at the Ranger's Station and take the Round Valley Trail hike. There were two times when I had to focus on the trail's path, but I eventually found my way and asked some hikers along the way to be sure. I took a bottle of water, but if you don't bring any, you can fill up a water bottle at the Ranger's Station. I observed the tall trees, the creek, and at some points, there were higher water levels than others. I had to leap over the stream too! When I made it to the end, I felt accomplished, challenged, and genuinely grateful to be healthy and alive on my birthday.

June 9th Birthday Girl (me)

I would highly recommend the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway if you enjoy hiking, camping, or want a change of scenery to relax and decompress in nature. I will be back sooner rather than later.

Happy adventuring.

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