From there however, the tram gets you to 8500 feet in about 10 minutes!
The cars are quite stable but it's standing room only so you have to be careful. When the cars ride through the cable towers they sway a little adding to the excitement! But the views are breathtaking in every direction and it's oh so cool to ascend high above the desert floor through the pine trees, surrounded by towering rock. The Coachella Valley stretches out to the east and on a clear day, like the one we got, you can almost see the Salton Sea. The crisp air thins as we land at Mountain Station. Once off, you are hit by fresh, cool, clean mountain air. Beautiful and refreshing. I can see where this would be a fantastic getaway in the summer heat with temperatures reaching 110° in the desert but only 70° or so in the mountains.
The views really are spectacular and the opportunities for hiking are endless. We were just there for the views on this day and they did not disappoint. From one of the viewing platforms you could see our housing complex out in the distance, with the green from the golf course highlighted.
After tooling around for a bit we decided to make our way down. The tram descends at what felt like a much faster speed because the car does not turn on the way down. Your ears pop a bit and your stomach drops a little but it's a great ride down as well.
It was wonderful to share this with Doug's sister and his parents. We will definitely make our way back up here again one day when we can spend the day hiking around. One of the many treasures of California is the unique ability to be in the desert, high in the mountains or at the coast all in the same day. Quite a treat to leave the desert and land at the top of Mt San Jacinto in just a few minutes.