Let’s face it. People come to the Palm Springs Valley in the winter months to luxuriate in the warm desert days and enjoy the crisp evenings. They don’t necessarily want to see snow, other than to appreciate our frequently snowcapped mountains…from afar. But some—visitors and locals alike—look to those peaks and dream about a playful snowball fight or a romp in the white stuff. And for them, there’s an easy solution: a trip into the San Jacinto Mountains via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Open year round, this popular attraction is just as busy in winter as it is in summer. With rotating cars that whisk up to 88 guests to an elevation of 8500 feet in under 15 minutes, the tram ride in an unforgettable journey from the desert floor to an alpine wonderland.

Weather conditions at the top of the tram (which can be ascertained by going to the very informative website www.pstramway.com) will dictate how you should dress (I always recommend layers of clothing), and what to do. More than 50 miles of hiking—or snowshoeing!—trails are available, but many guests in the winter are quite satisfied spending time in the Mountain Station enjoying the views from the observation decks, exploring the natural history museum, watching the documentaries in the theaters, or checking out the gift shop! Complete meals, snacks, and a full bar add to their enjoyment.

The tram is open the entire winter season, with trips up the mountain every 30 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and the last tram down at 9:45 p.m., including Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Eve and Day.

The best part is that it’s barely a 30-minute drive to/from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway from our beautiful resorts in Rancho Mirage. So whether you’re staying at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa (www.hotwatercasino.com), Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa (www.rancholaspalmas.com), The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage (www.ritzcarlton.com/ranchomirage) or The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa (www.westinmissionhills.com), a visit up the mountain will always end with your warming up back “home” at your luxurious accommodations.