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Skyline Trail to Aerial Tramway Top Station

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(172)
Mount San Jacinto State Park

Skyline Trail to Aerial Tramway Top Station is a 9.7 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Palm Springs, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until September.

Length 9.7 mi Elevation gain 8,051 ft Route type Point to Point

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Snow

No shade

Fee

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

Timing for this hike is essential. In the winter months, the top of the hike can be icy and/or snowy and foot traction is necessary. After recent heavy snowfall, it may be very difficult to reach the reach the tram, so this hike becomes a MUCH longer out and back. In the summer, temperatures will be very high, and the heat can be deadly. This is a very difficult hike and people have died or been injured while hiking here. Use caution and you will have a challenging but rewarding hike. Read the reviews for more info on timing and the challenged you will face! Taking the tram down is $13 per person. Note that the tram typically closes 2-3 weeks in September for annual maintenance.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (172)
Photos (1029)
Recordings (206)
Completed (489)
Destiny Carpena
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Hiking

Is this open at the moment ?

Maxwell Matel
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HikingIcySnow
View Maxwell's Recording
Bobbi Jo Rodriguez
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HikingIcySnow

I’ve been thinking of this place since I’ve left. It was beautiful, a perfect explore/ hike. We saw different size paw prints in the snow and met a lot of very polite people along the trail. I can’t wait to go back.

Mikey Wally
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HikingSnow

There was snow before getting to long valley. Micro spikes were a savior, but the rando I hiked this section with did not have them and he made it. I would have had to turn around if someone didn’t lay down the path in the snow before we got there. I presume they were from earlier that day. First time up, no gps, whoopsie. Took five hour forty three minutes from the museum sign to inside the tram station. I got lost finding the start of skyline after the picnic tables but found my way back quickly. Wondered off trail a few times. I brought around 120 oz of water. It was good for me but only one way. Almost no wind all day.

Anna Leeg
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HikingIcyRockySnow
View Anna's Recording
Josh Figgs
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Hiking

Left at 7am, made it to the tram at 4pm. Incredible workout, I think I underestimated how steep it would be and how much snow I’d have to deal with. I would say that I definitely do not recommend doing this hike without micro spikes. I brought pokes and didn’t use them, but the spikes were mandatory on the slick areas with lots of exposure. Overall, amazing hike, can’t wait to come back and go all the way to the summit!

View Josh's Recording
Jeffery Smith
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Hiking

This was a kick in the ass. I did this in conjunction to cactus to clouds we just stopped at the tram station for lunch for an hour and let our feet air out. It was quite the hike we were expecting to do 40 mins a mile and we were keeping up with that until flat rock... Jesus Christ it gets steep. Just be prepared for the last couple of miles to kick you in the ass. There was a little bit of snow before the tram around 7500 feet and I was glad we weren’t the first people doing it. It was 2/23/2020 when we did this and started at 3am. I want you to know I am not an expert hiker by any means, this is doable but extreme and not for the faint of heart.

View Jeffery's Recording
Alex Benjamen
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IcyNo shadeRockySnow

the hike itself is not that hard the first 7000 feet but last 1200feet the snow, steepness and fatigue sets in. you need 1 gallon of water and many layers of clothes. beautiful hike all the way to the top

Tim Chen
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Hiking

In the last miles. A little ice

View Tim's Recording
Armando Pura Vida Perez
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HikingIcySnow

It was an experience! 2nd time wife and I did this hike, the 1st we set off w intention to teach the summit and by the time we reached the tram there was no way we were going to add another 12miles. Yesterday we decided the tram would suffice as the snow would require more gear. This hike for us presents more of a mental challenge than physical, the 10miles is deceiving as the elevation gain is what really gets you. By far the most difficult stretch is the final 3 miles, seems never ending and once we got to the snow/ice we were glad w brought micro-spikes, would have been a skip and slide otherwise! Prepare for a beat down , wouldn’t recommended solo if it’s your first time. I’d say do a couple 5000ft + elevation gain hikes first . Bring at least 3 liters and one good meal + snacks. We started at 6:30am and it took us 10hrs to the tram, w plenty of breaks and a chill pace, enjoying the journey . The feeling once you reach The Tram Valley, all the aches fade away and the sense of accomplishment is rewarding, journey well!

View Armando's Recording
Mike Barbee
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HikingIcyNo shadeSnow

Definitely worth training for and executing. Just a few pieces of advice: Leave early enough to enjoy the final ascent during the early, bright afternoon sun. Wear waterproof hiking boots/shoes. Invest a few bucks on a pair that you can wear in any climate. It’s wise to go with a hiking buddy or two. I went with a few of my daughters (super athletic). Plan for unanticipated adversity. Bring energy bars, thermal blanket(s), pack warm gear and backup portable chargers. Very spiritual experience if you take your time and enjoy the journey.

Bradley B
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HikingIcyRockySnow

Just finished this trail 1/22/20 & it was awesome! It’s really a rewarding experience to make it to the top, definitely plan & prepare if your going to do this hike for as my master told me. “Do, or do not... There is no try”

Debbie Leong
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Hiking

Just completed this trail for the fifth time but for the first time with snow. I started around 6:30 am on Tuesday, 12/17/19, and ended around 2:00 and the weather was perfect. I was well prepared with plenty of food, water, layers, and emergency supplies so my pack was a bit heavier than normal. The trail was in great condition until about mile 8 when the transition from desert hiking to mountain hiking occurs. At that point, there were several downed trees to either scramble over or slide under. At about mile 8.5 patchy snow started showing up and at mile 9 I stopped and put on my microspikes The snowy part of the trail has heavy compaction so I was easy to follow all the way to the top. I’m glad I had my spikes on because it made me very sure footed. Last year I had attempted the trail with ice and I turned around at the traverse due to fear of sliding down and injuring myself. It felt great seeing the top of the trail and it’s always surreal, after hiking through such difficult terrain, never seeing another soul all day. to come in to the valley and see tons of people walking around enjoying themselves. It’s always great to order a drink at the bar and take in the views too.

P G.
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HikingIcyNo shadeRockyScrambleSnowWashed out

This cannot be overemphasized. Unless you are a very seasoned hiker, or a national class athlete (think 2:45 marathoner), this is an 7-11 hour affair, and those are very hard 7 hours. Especially the last 2. People die in this trail. Bring a power pack, snow walking gear, and poles. If you think that the trail is well marked because of white dots up to the picnic tables (about 10% of the hike) you are in for a big (and at times scary) surprise.

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