CA: Palm Springs Attractions & Natural Wonders

While visiting Palm Springs…be sure to take the tramway…it is the world’s largest rotating tram car offering beautiful views of the Chino Canyon, transporting riders to Mt. San Jacinto State Park. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was a longtime dream of Francis Crocker.  A complicated endeavor which officially began in 1935, the young  electrical engineer enlisted a varied and talented team to make his vision a reality. Despite many political roadblocks and the Korean War, his tenacity finally paid off and the tramway was completed in 1963. 

photo courtesy of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

In 1998, the Tramway began its renovation which was officially completed in 2000. At that time, it was the world’s largest rotating tramcars. The Tramway has attracted over 20 million people to partake in the 10-minute, 2.5-mile ride. which begins at the Valley Station (elevation 2,643 feet) and ends at the Mountain Station (elevation 8,516 feet).

If you are athletic, let the hiking begin…or wait for your partner while you dine in one of the two restaurants, or enjoy the observation decks, along with the natural history museum. There are two documentary theaters, and a gift shop. The ten-minute journey is breathtaking…the tram cars rotate, so there is no bad view. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, 1 Tram Way Palm Springs, CA 92262; (888) 515-8726;

If you are a plant lover, the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium should be calling your name. The Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium is about 1.5 miles from downtown Palm Springs and there is on-street parking. Here you will find thousands of specimens sourced from all over the world, The species are categorized geographically, taking visitors through exhibits of real terrain. You’ll need about an hour exploring the one acre garden. The Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, 1701 S Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264; (760) 327-6555;

The Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium

Or perhaps hiking is your thing, or you would like to see more of the natural wonders of Palm Springs, then be sure to head to the Indian Canyons or do a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park (50 minutes from Palm Springs). Visit this website for additional info –

The Indian Canyons is the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and includes Andreas Canyon, Murray Canyon and Palm Canyon. The Agua Caliente people have thrived here for thousands of years. There are nominal fees to do the hike, or take a tour with a guide. Be respectful of this sacred place. Visit the website for times and rate, along with additional info –

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