Skip to main content

Throwback Thursday; Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Back in 2012 I took a form of transportation I don't believe has been previously covered on the Surewhynotnow blog; the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway from Coachella Valley in Sonoran Desert to the vicinity of San Jacinto Peak.






The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is located a couple miles northwest of downtown Palm Springs on California State Route 111.  Access to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is via the amusingly named Tram Way.




The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway begins it's ascent through Chino Canyon at 2,643 feet above sea level at the Valley Station to 8,516 feet above sea level at Mountain Station.  The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was first proposed in 1935 but construction didn't begin until 1960.  Helicopters were largely used during the construction of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which opened in 1963.  The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway provides easy access to San Jacinto State Park in addition to Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument. 


The 18 foot wide tram cars actually rotate 360 degrees on the ascent from Valley Station up to Mountain Station.  The tram cars provide excellent views which can be as far as 200 miles northward towards the Las Vegas Metro Area on a clear day.



















The views down Chino Canyon from Mountain Station are daunting to say the least.




Much of Coachella Valley and the San Andreas Fault can be observed from Mountain Station.





The primary attraction that can be accessed from Mountain Station is the 10,834 foot San Jacinto Peak which is the tallest summit in the San Jacinto Mountains.  The trail from Mountain Station is surprisingly short which can be accessed through San Jacinto State Park.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Interstate 238; the Interstate numbering abomination carved out of an otherwise mundane State Highway

How does one make an otherwise unremarkable stretch of State Highway the absolute bane of the road community?  Make a small portion of said State Highway into a Interstate Highway but one that retains it's completely out of grid State Highway number.  One such route does exist; California State Route 238 and it's better known segment Interstate 238.


CA 238/I-238 (I'll be referring to this highway frequently as Highway 238 for simplicity) including a relinquished segment in Hayward is a 16 mile "highway" starting at I-680 in Fremont which heads northwest to I-880 in San Leandro.  Only an approximately 2.1 mile segment of Highway 238 between I-580 and I-880 is part of the Interstate system.

The numbering oddity behind I-238 stems from the fact that California Legislatively does not allow numbering duplication.  In the eyes of the Legislature there is no difference between a State Highway, US Route and Interstate Highway.  That being the said all highways maintained…

Interstate 380

This past weekend I drove over twenty Californian highways with a good chunk of them being around the San Francisco Bay Area.   The first highway I attempted was Interstate 380 from San Francisco International Airport west to I-280.


I-380 is an approximately 1.7 mile freeway connecting from US 101 at San Francisco International Airport west to I-280.  The entire routing of I-380 is within San Mateo County and despite it's small size was conceived as a much larger route.

According to CAhighways.org the path of I-380 was first conceived as Legislative Route Number 229 in 1947 between US 101 Bypass west to US 101 in San Bruno.

CAhighways.org on LRN 229

LRN 229 was extended to CA 1 Pacifica in 1959 by the Legislature.  While LRN 229 in it's original form was too small display on State Highway Maps it does appear in full scope by the 1960 addition.

1960 State Highway Map

During the 1964 State Highway renumbering LRN 229 was reassigned as LRN 186 which is reflective on the State Hig…

The Cemetery inside the Interstate 85 Median

Near Gaffney, South Carolina between exits 95 and 96, Interstate 85 separates to allow for a wider median.  The reason - a small family cemetery that dates to the mid-1800s.  The Lipscomb-Sarratt or  Ross-Lipscomb cemetery is an example of the numerous small family burial plots that were found within many rural farms and plantations throughout the South during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The cemetery consists of at least 13 gravestones with six that still have legible markings.  Most of those buried passed away between 1850-1880.   The cemetery is also one of the oldest in Cherokee County.



How the cemetery came to exist in the middle of an increasingly busy Interstate 85 is an interesting story.  In the early 1950s, South Carolina moved US 29 onto a newly built a two lane express highway from the North Carolina State Line near Grover to northwest of Spartanburg.  At the time, the cemetery sat just to the new highway's south.  What is now the Southbound lanes of Interstate 85 car…