From Desert Heat to Snow via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway!

by The Darwinian Doctor

In this episode of Building the Empire, I take my family up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to a winter wonderland in the desert!

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Over Martin Luther King Day weekend, I took my family on a real estate trip to Palm Springs. It was a working trip, with many trips to the renovation site, tile store, and nursery. But we were also doing general city research as well.

We stayed in a local AirBNB to scope out the competition and also put some thought into which local attractions we’d be putting into our guestbook. Despite being mid-January, it was a balmy 75 degrees in the Coachella Valley.

The San Jacinto Mountains

Palm Springs street with the San Jacinto mountains in the background
Palm Springs street with the San Jacinto mountains in the background

Since we were spending the weekend, we decided to spend one morning exploring the San Jacinto mountains. Standing at almost 11,000 feet above sea level, the San Jacinto mountain range is the second highest mountain range in Southern California.

They’re the reason why Palm Springs has such an incredible topography, and why the view from our vacation home’s backyard is going to be amazing once it’s all finished.

One of the coolest ways to access these mountains is via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. This is a major tourist attraction in the city, and one that we wanted to be sure to experience to recommend it to our guests.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The rotating tramcar | From Desert Heat to Snow via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway!

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway boasts two of the world’s largest rotating tramcars and is the coolest way to access the Mount San Jacinto State Park.

During the ten-minute journey, the tramcar rotates around slowly and the temperature drops steadily. By the time you walk out of the tramway at Mountain Station, the temperature is 30 degrees lower than the valley floor!

Mount San Jacinto State Park

After a short walk down to the park floor, we hiked through snowy trails, climbed over fallen trees, and enjoyed the sight of our two boys having an incredible time in the snow.

My younger boy running amok
From Desert Heat to Snow via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway!

Since they’ve grown up in Southern California all their life, snow is still a memorable experience for both of them. Even for my wife and I, the jarring change from warm weather to a winter wonderland was one of the coolest things we’ve ever experienced.

After an hour or so of hiking, our kids were ready for lunch, so we ate in the cafeteria while enjoying the incredible view over Coachella Valley. (Tip: Get the Sidewinder fries!)

We then took the tramway back down to the parking lot and drove back to the warm desert floor.

View from Mountain Station | From Desert Heat to Snow via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway!
View from Mountain Station


The trip to the San Jacinto Mountains via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was a really amazing experience that our family will remember for quite a while. It is also going to be a great day trip to recommend to the future guests of our short term rental!

Real estate investing is an activity that pays dividends in more ways than one. I hope you’ll get the chance to build memories with your family as well someday!

— The Darwinian Doctor

What memorable family experiences have you had recently? Comment below and subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss an update!

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Since everyone is different, it may not be appropriate to generalize my doctorly advice to your own situation. Please run all medical, life, and financial advice by your own physician or financial professionals before applying it to your own life! Consider all information for your entertainment only!

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