Before ever visiting Palm Springs, I envisioned sunbaked retirees and humble desert homes surrounded by vast expanses of nothingness. When a celebratory gathering brought me to the city one November, I was quickly put in my place.
Whether you’re into hip hotels, high-energy pool parties, hiking or mid-century modern design, Palm Springs delivers. But, I was particularly surprised by Palm Spring Aerial Tramway, a rotating tram that takes riders up to 8,516 feet in elevation in 10 minutes.
Once at Mountain Station, there are 54 miles of forested hiking trails readily accessible in addition to towering pine and cedar trees that jut into the sky instead of palm trees. With a 2-year-old child and an athletic stroller in tow, we started down the Desert View Trail, an easy 1.5-mile loop with a number of lookout spots along its length.
Peering down over the edge of the mountain, the rolling, arid land below extends for miles, looking golden and beautiful. My daughter, squirmy and small, may not have appreciated the view as much as her parents did, but the rocky path and fallen pine cones captured her attention just fine.