New Heights

Enjoy the Coachella Valley from a different point of view

Heidi Kulicke Attractions 0 Comments

Take a ride in a vintage World War II plane.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PALM SPRINGS BIPLANES

 

There’s more to Greater Palm Springs than resorts, martinis, and golf.

Experience the desert from new heights and see what you’ve been missing. Take a cue from the birds for a day and soak up the valley’s splendor aboard a hot air balloon, airplane, or tram car. Whether you’re looking for something romantic, exciting, or family-friendly, these ideas are sure to spark an adventure.

 

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY GREATER PALM SPRINGS CVB

Have fun hot air ballooning.

Riding a Hot Air Balloon

What to expect: Go where the wind takes you with HAVNFUN Hot Air Ballooning and see how they work firsthand. Upon landing, guests are greeted with a Champagne toast, free mimosas, pastries, and fresh fruit. All passengers receive a commemorative flight certificate, souvenir, and digital photo package option. Plan for three hours beginning just before sunrise — flight time lasts about an hour.
Ready, set, go!: 760-646-8884; www.flyhotairballoons.com

 

PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID A. LEE

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

Climbing a Mountain by Tram

What to expect: Enjoy some cool mountain air by riding the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a fun activity the whole family will enjoy. Hop aboard the world’s largest rotating tramcar and ascend 2.5 miles up the cliffs of Chino Canyon to be greeted by pristine wilderness. Begin the adventure at 2,643 feet and steadily climb in elevation to 8,516 feet. The journey takes about 10 minutes.
Ready, set, go!: One Tram Way, Palm Springs. 760-325-1391; www.pstramway.com

 

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY GREATER PALM SPRINGS CVB

Mount San Jacinto State Park.

Hiking at High Altitudes

What to expect: Mount San Jacinto State Park offers 54 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult with excellent views. The Desert View Trail is an easy 1.5-mile loop hike with several scenic overlooks. Experienced hikers may consider San Jacinto Peak. The 11-mile round-trip hike leads to the second-highest point in Southern California. Access the trails via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
Ready, set, go!: One Tram Way, Palm Springs. 760-325-1391; www.pstramway.com/hiking/

 

Flying Over the Desert

What to expect: Palm Springs Biplanes offers rides in a World War II–era 1940 three-seat Stearman biplane. Sit in an open cockpit, side by side with your partner, while the pilot takes you on the flight of a lifetime. Soar through the clouds above Palm Springs while the pilot performs figure 8s and other tricks. Packages range from a 15-minute flight to an hour. Bon voyage!
Ready, set, go!: 145 N. Gene Autry Tr., Palm Springs. 760-216-3700; www.psbiplanes.com

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