What to Know
- Depart from Palm Springs Aerial Tramway's Mountain Station
- Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 5, 2021; Desert View Trail Walk begins at 11 a.m. while the Long Valley Natural Walk starts at 1:30 p.m.
- The famous tram is a ticketed experience while the guided nature walks at the top are free; advance registration for the walks is not required
MOUNTAIN-HIGH COOL-DOWN: If the words "Alpine cool forests" thrill your very soul, and set you to daydreaming about outdoor adventures that aren't on the scorchier side, then you likely know which Golden State peaks are easily reachable during summer's toastiest days. And one of the most celebrated peaks, a destination that boasts a rather unusual way up to the top? It surely is Mt. San Jacinto, the dramatic, sky-reaching mountain that can be admired from all over the Coachella Valley. And if you're on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway? You can admire San Jacinto's many charms while calling upon its trails and tree-shady spots. If you're ready to ride the tram and then connect with the aforementioned "Alpine cool forests," make time to take a...
GUIDED NATURE WALK... with a Mt. San Jacinto State Park volunteer at the lead. It's free to join one of these Alpine ambles, and you don't need to book your spot in advance. You can pick from a pair of "easy trails" once there, but how to choose? Both surely tempt. The walk along the Desert View Trail sets out at 11 a.m. and wends about a mile and a half, while the Long Valley Nature Trail is a loop that covers three-quarters of a mile (it leaves at 1:30). But where to meet once you've taken the tram all the way up to Mountain Station? Make for the bottom of the concrete ramp.
WEARING COMFY SHOES... created for such an outdoorsy outing is recommended, of course. And of course you're welcome to explore the mountain's trails on your own; look for maps in the Natural History Museum "for a nominal fee."