Scaling Mt. San Jacinto

No, we didn’t climb it, we took the tram. πŸ™‚ My son and his friends did climb it, though.


We drove up to Valley Station of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which was already at 2643 feet above sea level. The ten-minute tram ride took us up the remaining eight thousand-or-so feet.

Here’s our tram.


This is the “World’s Largest Rotating Tramcar,” which means there are no bad seats. It also means you can’t really hold onto the railing because it moves too. Once everyone got used to that, it was a lot easier. Some people didn’t want to let go. πŸ™‚


And, we’re off. I’m not a fan of heights, but for some reason looking down didn’t bother me. Whenever we crossed one of those tower things, there was a big bump and that was a little scary. Kind of like when the ferris wheel suddenly stops at the top. Strangely, looking at the surrounding rocks made me feel a little faint:


Just told myself I was in an airplane and tried to keep my footing while taking photos in a vehicle that went up as well as around. The tramcar rotated slowly, so I didn’t have to worry about shutter speed so much. It wasn’t that late in the day, but the mountain was already blocking out the sun.


A partial view of Palm Springs down below. Those white things on the left? Wind turbine generators, otherwise known as windmills. They generate a lot of power for the Palm Springs area.


Almost near the top. Trees and snow! When we left Palm Springs, it was 85F. The temp at the top of the mountain was 55F.


More rocks and views.


When we reached the top, I took this photo of the docking area. I’m sure it’s much more sturdy than it looks.


Long Valley Deck with great views of Palm Springs, etc.


A really nice paved path with railings.


This is either Peaks Restaurant or Pines Cafe. We weren’t eating, so I didn’t pay close attention to the names.


I was kind of excited to see snow after more than a year without. It was also exciting to leave it when I wanted to. πŸ™‚


Remnants of the sunset. There was dust or fog down below, but the blues were still beautiful.


Rock formations along the path.

It was getting dark and pretty chilly, so back down we went. . . .


Hope you don’t have vertigo.


Back to solid ground. So glad we went up!

Great weekend, everyone. . . .


About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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14 Responses to Scaling Mt. San Jacinto

  1. Great shots – fantastic views. I’m so pleased that you did it for me:)

  2. Caroline says:

    Fantastic scenery. A bit like the Alps just with a very different vegetation. I’ve been in cable cars and I’m not keen. I find it pretty scary but looking back it’s always worth it.
    Snow is great when you can leave it behind any time you want. πŸ™‚

    • I think the Alps are much prettier. I never got tired of looking at them when I lived in Southern Bavaria. The mountains around Palm Springs are bare rock until you get up much higher.
      Yes, I prefer driving to the snow!

  3. Ms. Spock says:

    Great photography, once again.

    Did you catch the red vegetation growing from the rock in the photograph immediately before your annotation, “Rock formations along the path” [third photo from the end]? (I did.)

    • Thank you!
      You know, I thought that was some kind of mark the park rangers put on the rock, but after blowing up the photo, I think you’re right. Good eye. πŸ™‚

  4. Amazing how much the climate changes in only 3500 feet.
    Did you say the tram cars rotated while you were on the ascent? I think that might make me a bit squeamish, but looks you handled it very well!

    • Sorry, I probably didn’t make that clear. Palm Springs, at sea level, was 85F. and the docking area near the top of the mountain, around 8000 ft., was 55F. I had read that the summit temp was 30 degrees colder, so we dressed fairly warmly, but didn’t count on the wind. That made it feel a lot colder.
      Yes, they rotated the whole time! It reminded me of taking photos on that catamaran in choppy water in Hawaii. Not my ideal shooting conditions. πŸ™‚

  5. Cheryl says:

    Brave woman, Carole. I did a gondola ride once in the Canadian Rockies … eeek. Haven’t gone looking for another since. The shots are beautiful … Palm Springs spread out in the valley below playing ‘chicken’ with the desert. Incredible contrasts!

  6. Lady Jennie says:

    Love traveling through your eyes.

  7. TBM says:

    What a fun trip. A rotating cable car seems a little scary for me. But not sure I would have wanted to climb this one πŸ™‚ Thanks for taking me along!

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