Apr 28, 2012
After lunch we took the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up to the Mount San Jacinto State Park, the tramway is the world's largest rotating tram car, traveling up over two and one half miles from an elevation of 2,643 feet to 8,516 feet in just ten minutes. The trip up was fantastic with spectacular views of the mountain side and the desert valley floor. Arriving at the top we entered a different world from the one we left at the base of the mountain; the peak of Mt. San Jacinto and surrounding mountains comprise the state park, a lush forested area of 14,000 acres. After watching two short films on the construction of the tramway and development of the state park we ventured outside into a cool forest. The temperature here was in the lower 60’s compared to the low 90’s on the valley floor. We took a short mile and a half hike through the forest, passing a high mountain pasture of lush green grass and a small mountain stream; and arriving at several rocky overlooks of the valley below, with fantastic views. The trees growing here are not found anywhere else as they had to evolve to survive the hot summers and the cold snowy winters, yes it snows at the top of the mountain. They were massive pine trees, much larger than what we are accustomed to seeing, both in height and width. The trip up in the tram and the hike through the pine forest were experiences that will be remembered.