Palm Springs Tram: Solar Eclipse Viewing

Call upon Mountain Station on Monday, Aug. 21 for a special program.

AN ATTRACTION'S ELEVATION SIGNS? They tend not to change all that much, if they're posted at all. You might hike up a hill and ascend 100 feet, or dip into a canyon that's 300 feet down, but that's really the extent of the up-and-down-a-tude you'll encounter at any single destination. There are exceptions, of course, and a major one is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which boasts an elevation change of nearly 6,000 feet. That's right: Valley Station, where visitors first board the tram, sits at 2,643 feet, while Mountain Station, way up above, is located at 8,516 feet. So for those romantics who say they want to get closer to the moon and stars, well, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is one route to making that dream happen. But if you simply like being high above everything, especially when something cool is developing out beyond our planet's outer bounds, and you want to brag to your pals that you were "closer" to the action, by choosing a spot at an upper elevation, consider watching the...

GREAT AMERICAN SOLAR ECLIPSE... from the viewing deck at the tram's Mountain Station. A special program is on the schedule for the morning of Monday, Aug. 21, with Allison Barnes, State Park Interpreter for Mount San Jacinto Park, at the lead. If you're among the first 50 people to show at Mountain Station, you'll be handed solar viewing glasses (approved by NASA), but you might also want to queue for the telescope that's been outfitted with a solar filter. And if you made your own nifty, straight-from-school pinhole camera? You'll want to have that in your bag before you board the tram. The eclipse is set to begin at 9 in the morning, but the first car'll go up, up, up at 8, so you'll have time to find your eclipse-cheering spot up the mountain. "What better location to watch the solar eclipse than from the place closest to the Sun... the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway!" is the charming suggestion shared by the mid-century landmark. The sun is still millions (and millions) of miles away, of course, but, at least here on earth, you'll be a pinch closer to the sky.

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