All Is Frost as the Tram's Snow-Guessing Contest Ends

The winners will receive four admissions to the historic Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

What to Know

  • Wednesday, Nov. 20
  • An inch of snow was recorded at Mountain Station
  • Ten winners will each receive four passes on the tram

Anything with "Palm Springs" in its name might convey an especially caliente character, but the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is also known for its amazing mountaintop snow.

That's because it travels, in a matter of a few minutes, from the desert below to the way, way up in the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. And by "way, way up" we're talking some 8,500 feet, give or take.

So, for sure, the frosty stuff does accumulate at Mountain Station, the tram's fir-packed, peak-topping destination.

And that frosty stuff hit the inch mark at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, marking the end of the landmark's annual Snow-Guessing Contest.

This is the competition that opens on Oct. 1 each year, the one that invites people to mail in a postcard with an important guess: When will the first measurable inch of snow fall at Mountain Station?

Past years have seen a variety of first-inch dates, with November, December, and even January making the books.

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The ten winners of the just-closed contest will each receive four admissions to the tram, as well as a special tram ornament. Cities from around the region, including Palm Desert and Desert Hot Springs, were represented among the correct guessers.

As for how many entries were received? Count 'em up: 955 was the impressive number.

But what does it ultimately mean that the contest closed on Nov. 20?

That's on the earlier side for snow accumulation, but whether that foretells an abundance of flakes for the winter ahead remains to be seen.

The upshot?

People visiting the desert for a pool-close getaway can now journey, in a matter of minutes, to see a bit of snow. Snow that's sure to grow in the weeks ahead, as fall wraps and winter officially doffs his cold cap.

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