Palm Springs Tram to San Jacinto

Overnight camping, hiking and bouldering.

Quick facts:

  •  its the worlds largest rotating tram car
  • it travels 2.5 miles along the Chino Canyon
  • it takes you from the desert to 8,500ft above sea level in 10 min
  • there is a restaurant at the top

all good stuff, I wanted to add a few things to that:

    • it sways at every vertical support column going up, if you aren’t a fan of heights you’ll love this
    • the restaurant at the top is ok. Better than backpacking food (slightly)
    • how ever it is the last place to get beer, so if you need beer, get beer..
Map to the Palm Springs Tram

The Plan

I had my cousin in town and our plan was:  Take the Palm Springs Tram to the San Jacinto wilderness,  hike 2.5miles to Round valley Campground drop our heavy packs and continue another 3 miles to the San Jacinto summit, return back to camp, sleep for the night and wake up and boulder.


Map of the trail from the tram to Round valley and San Jacinto summit
tram to san jacinto map
(moving left to right)  Tram parking lot, the trail up and round valley


leaving Palm Springs it was about 117 degrees, getting to the top it was a comfortable 75 degrees. We got our permits from the Long Valley Ranger Station (they are required for over night stays, I would recommend reserving these in advance) and headed for Round valley. We had a late start on the day and didn’t have enough time to get to San Jacinto summit for sunset. So we hoofed it up the Wellman Divide  to the closest high point we could get on for sunset.

Looking North East

Round Valley

We camped off the Tamarack Valley trail just NW of the Round Valley Meadow. The camp sites are great, spread out enough to where your not stacked on top of the person next to you. There was hardly anyone around when we were up there. There was water by the seasonal ranger station but always check with the rangers before relying on this water source.

Bouldering Tramway

We woke up made some coffee and took the easy mile hike down the mountain and started climbing in some of the more westerly bouldering areas. I don’t have a tramway guide book so I couldn’t tell you what we climbed but there was no shortage of established routes.

 great way to beat the summers heat and just a few hours from home..

San Jacinto hike

If you have any questions sent me an e-mail and I’ll get back to you.