Joshua Tree National Park

Where Two Deserts Meet

Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Come explore for yourself.

For Your Safety and Theirs

Joshua Tree National Park is a sanctuary and home for wildlife. Enjoy viewing these incredible creatures, but remember that this is their home and we are the visitors. It is illegal and harmful to people and wildlife to approach, feed, handle, capture, or harass any wild animal in the park. If you treat wildlife with respect by not approaching or feeding them, you are helping them live natural lives. By keeping wildlife wild, you are protecting their safety and yours.

Follow Leave No Trace principles to ensure your actions do not have a lasting impact on the park and its wildlife.

Find additional information about wildlife viewing at national parks by visiting Smart Wildlife Watching .

Do Not Feed Wildlife
Feeding wild animals disrupts their lives and is dangerous to people. The saying "a fed animal is a dead animal" is unfortunately very true at Joshua Tree. These animals are well adapted to desert life and do not need human food to survive.

  • Animals "begging" for food are more likely to be in roadways and hit by cars.
  • If fed regularly, animals will stop foraging for themselves and often starve to death.
  • Wildlife accustomed to feeding lose their fear of humans, which can lead to aggression.
  • Secure your food: keep edibles in your car or hard-sided container. Place all garbage in bins.
  • If wildlife is approaching people, contact the nearest ranger.

Welcome to Joshua Tree!

Joshua Tree National Park is open year-round. There are few facilities within the park's approximately 800,000 acres, making Joshua Tree a true desert wilderness just a few hours outside Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. About 2.8 million visitors come to the park each year to enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, photography, rock climbing, and simply enjoying the serene desert scenery. The busy season in Joshua Tree runs from October through May

Operating Hours & Seasons

The park is always open and may be visited anytime of year. Visitation increases as temperatures moderate in the fall, peaks during the spring, and diminishes during the heat of summer.

Visitor Centers

Joshua Tree Visitor Center

The first stop for park visitors headed towards the West Entrance. Located in the village of Joshua Tree on Park Blvd. just south of Hwy 62. Exhibits, bookstore, cafe, flush toilets onsite; public telephone and showers nearby.


Open all year.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Physical Address

6554 Park Blvd.
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Mailing Address

6554 Park Blvd.
Joshua Tree, CA 92252


From CA Hwy 62 (the Twentynine Palms Highway) in downtown Joshua Tree, turn south onto Park Blvd. The Joshua Tree Visitor Center will be on your right.

Oasis Visitor Center

Located at the Oasis of Mara in Twentynine Palms. Exhibits, bookstore, water, flush toilets, picnic tables.


Open all year.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Monday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM


Physical Address

74485 National Park Dr.
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

Mailing Address

74485 National Park Dr.
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277


From CA Hwy 62 (the Twentynine Palms Highway), turn south onto National Park Drive or Utah Trail. Parking for the Oasis Visitor Center is on the right near the intersection of National Park Drive and Utah Trail.

Cottonwood Visitor Center

Near the South Entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. Exhibits, bookstore, water, and flush toilets onsite. Picnic area nearby.


Open all year.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Monday 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Friday 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM


From I-10, take exit 168 for the Cottonwood Springs Rd. Enter Joshua Tree National Park at the South Entrance. Continue Cottonwood Springs Rd. for about 6 miles. Cottonwood Visitor Center will be on your right.

Black Rock Nature Center

Located in the heart of beautiful Black Rock Campground. Bookstore, water, flush toilets, picnic area.


Open October-May only.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Monday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM


Physical Address

9800 Black Rock Canyon Rd.
Yucca Valley, CA 92284

Mailing Address

9800 Black Rock Canyon Rd.
Yucca Valley, CA 92284


From CA Hwy 62 (the Twentynine Palms Hwy), turn south onto Joshua Lane or Avalon Avenue. Continue for about 5 miles, following signs to Black Rock.

PALM SPRINGS, CA - The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway constructed in rugged Chino Canyon on the north edge of Palm Springs - about two hours by car from Los Angeles and San Diego - did not just happen. It required foresight, planning, financing and, most of all a vision. For years, it was the dream of a young electrical engineer named Francis F. Crocker to "go up there where it's nice and cool".

Crocker's dream began in 1935 while he was on a trip to Banning, California, with newspaper publisher Carl Barkow. Mopping his brow in the heat of the day, Crocker gazed on longingly at the still snow-capped peak of Mt. San Jacinto 10,804 feet high. At that moment, "Crocker's Folly,'' as it was soon dubbed by one newspaper woman, was born - a tramway up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon.

In the late 1930s, Crocker enlisted the aid of desert pioneer and co-manager of the famed Palm Springs Desert Inn, O. Earl Coffman, in his tramway project. Coffman eventually was named chairman of the committee to plan the attraction.

Even though the enthusiasm for the tramway idea was high locally, political roadblocks caused numerous disappointing setbacks. Twice, a tramway enabling bill passed the California State legislature, only to be vetoed by then Governor Culbert Olson. With the outbreak of World War II, the plans were shelved.

However, Crocker's vision of a tramway to scale those cliffs to the coolness of the San Jacinto mountains never died. Years after the original plans were shelved, they were dusted off and the battle enjoined.

In 1945, a new tram bill was passed and Governor Earl Warren signed the measure creating the Mount San Jacinto Winter Park Authority. Coffman, who had labored long and hard to see the vision realized, was named the Authority's first chairman.

By 1950, technicians were moving ahead on designs for the Tramway, spending more than $250,000 solving riddles of road and tower construction. Funds for the construction of the Tramway were raised by the sale of $8.5 million in private revenue bonds. Not one cent of public funds was used for either the construction or operation of the Tramway. The 35-year bonds paid 5½ percent interest and were paid off in 1996. The Korean conflict was to cause yet another delay, but the ambitious project began to take form in July 1961.

Construction of the Tramway was an engineering challenge and was soon labeled the "eighth wonder of the world.'' The superlative was earned because of the ingenious use of helicopters in erecting four of the five supporting towers. Some 20 years later, the Tramway was designated an historical civil engineering landmark.

The first tower is the only one that can be reached by road. The helicopters flew some 23,000 missions without mishap during the 26 months of construction, hauling men and materials needed to erect the four other towers and the 35,000 sq. ft. mountain station.

Francis Crocker's dream was completed in 1963; the inaugural ride occurred on September 14th with scores of local and state dignitaries and celebrities on hand.

In 1966 a 7,800 ft. granite spire in the canyon was dedicated to Coffman who died in August 1967; Francis Crocker died in 1992.

The Tramway announced in 1998 that it was embarking on a modernization program that would see the construction and installation in 2000 of new cars and updating of its facilities. Beginning in September 2000, passengers rode the world's largest rotating tram cars, constructed by the tram's original car manufacturer, Von Roll Tramways (now owned by Dopplmayr Tramways).

More than 12 million people have been safely transported by the Tramway into the majestic mountains overlooking the Coachella Valley since the attraction opened in September 1963.

Tram Prices Ride 'n' Dine Prices
Valid after 3:00pm
Adults $22.95 Adults $35.50
Children $15.95 (ages 3-12)
Children $23.00
Seniors $20.95 (60+)
Annual Pass $150.00 (adults)
$ 90.00 (children)
Summer Pass
Valid May 1-Aug 31, 2009
$60.00 (adults)
$30.00 (children)

GIFT CERTIFICATES -Please visit the Valley Station or call us at
760.325.1449 to purchase a wonderful gift for everyone.

Children under 3 years old are free but require a boarding pass.
Click for video preview of the Ride , Riding the Tram , approx. 1 min.
Hi-speed, Windows Media Player required

Internet Ticket Sales
Buy your tickets online. Fast and Convenient with our NEW PRINT AT HOME.
Tickets can also be purchased at the Valley Station Ticket Booth.
The Valley Station, Mountain Station and tram cars
are handicap accessible.
Hours of Operation
Cars depart at least every half hour with the first car up Monday-Friday at 10am; first car up weekends and holiday periods at 8am. Last car up 8pm and last car down 9:45pm. Sorry no pets allowed.

The Tramway's Annual Maintenance is scheduled for September 13 through October 1, 2010. Reopening Saturday, October 2, 2010. Dates are subject to change without notice.

Prices and Hours Of Operation Are Subject To Change Without Notice
Group Sales
Additional information about group packages, group event opportunities, and meeting facilities. For more information please email us at
Gift Shop
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has two gift shops. One is located in the Valley Station and the other at the Mountain Station. Each carries a selection of unique Tramway souvenirs. For more information on specialty items please e-mail us at or phone 760 325-1449 (ask for Ext 130).
The carriage contains 24 wheels and supports the cabin on the track ropes on which it rides. There is one carriage per cabin.
Hanger Pins
Seen here are the hanger pins which attach the cabin hanger to the rolling carriage. These pins are capable of measuring and displaying the cabin payload.
Cabin Hanger
The cabin hanger attaches the carriage to the cabin. It also contains a ladder and inspection platform for the maintenance crew to work on the towers, slack carriers, and carriages. The cabin hanger is 34 feet long.
Main Drive Gear Box-pre installation
Just prior to installation, the main drive gear box and coupling to the main drive wheel are pictured in this view. The 1100Hp DC drive motor provides the input power to this unit.
Main Drive Gear Box-installed
Here are the main drive gear box and the service brake rotor installed and working.
Main haul rope drive wheel
The haul rope, or cable, is pulled by this wheel, in turn moving the cars. This drive wheel is located at the Valley Station.
Wheel Cable Wraps
The wheel pictured here allows two cable wraps around the main drive wheel for adequate friction to pull the cables. It also provides braking once the cabin is in dock.
A detail shot of the 40mm compacted hauling cable. Both cabins are attached to this cable which spans the distance from the Valley Station to the mountain. It is 13,100 ft long and weighs 4.22 lbs. per foot.
Bull Wheels
Shown just prior to installation are the bull wheels which guide the haul rope in and out of the buildings and to the main drive wheel. There are two of these wheels at the Mountain station that help suspend the haul rope counterweight.
Track Rope Counter-weight
Seen at the bottom of the well, is the track rope counter-weight which keeps tension on the track cables as the cars travel between towers. It weighs approx 120 tons.
Rescue and emergency drive engine
Being set into place is a Cummins 6 Cylinder 190hp hydrostatic drive, used as a back up to the main drive.
Rescue Drive Counterweight
The rescue drive counterweight provides a method to lower the cars to the Valley Station with the use of gravity only.
Scissor Lift
The scissor lift, pictured here, is used to attach water tanks or heavy freight and equipment to the underside of the cabins.
Concrete Pour
This view shows the forms used for a 130yd concrete pour to secure additional steel structure during the remodel.
Docking Brake Hydraulics
The hydraulic system, which is adjacent to the main drive wheel, controls the docking brake used as the cars come into the stations.
Elevation of lower terminal (Valley Station): 2,643ft 806m ASL
Elevation of upper terminal (Mountain Station): 8,516ft 2597m ASL
Difference of elevation: 5,873ft 1,791m
Actual length traveled along cables: 12,780ft 3,895m
Average gradient: 26 degrees
Maximum gradient: 42 degrees
Number of intermediate towers: 5
The first tower is the tallest at approximately 227ft
Car dimensions: 8ft high inside 18ft in diameter
Weight (carriage, hanger and cabin) empty: 22,000lb 10,000kg
Weight (carriage, hanger and cabin) loaded: 13,600lb 6,200kg
Total weight: 35,600lb 16,200kg
Capacity of each car: Approx. 80 passengers plus 1 car operator
Maximum existing traveling speed: 1,970 linear feet per minute. 21 mph 10 m/sec
Maximum future traveling speed: 2,165 linear feet per minute. 24 mph 11 m/sec
Maximum possible traveling speed while passing towers: 1,575 linear feet per minute 18 mph 8 m/sec
System of electric drive: 3 Phase Regenerative D.C. SCR
Maximum output of DC hoist motor: 1,100 HP 1,350 KW
Continuous output: 675 HP 855 KW
Number and size of cables:
  • 2 x 2 tension to track ropes of 3 inches / 75mm diameter
  • 2 x 2 stationary track cables of 1-7/8 inches / 47.5mm diameter
  • 1 lower hauling rope of 1-9/16 inches / 40mm diameter
  • 1 upper counter rope of 1-3/4 inches / 45mm diameter
  • 1 auxiliary rope of 15/16 inches / 24mm diameter
  • 1 telephone rope of 5/8 inches / 16.2mm diameter, with a fiber optic core.
The cable span and number of slack rope carriers:
Valley Station to Tower 1 (1 slack carrier) 1,148ft 349m
Tower 1 to Tower 2 ( 5 slack carriers) 3,280ft 1,000m
Tower 2 to Tower 3 (4 slack carriers) 3,225ft 983m
Tower 3 to Tower 4 (4 slack carriers) 3,455ft 1,053m
Tower 4 to Tower 5 (1 slack carrier) 968ft 295m
Tower 5 to Mt. Station (no slack carrier) 695ft 212m
Individual Tower Heights:
Tower 1 227ft 69.1m
Tower 2 146ft 44.4m
Tower 3 83ft 25.3m
Tower 4 65ft 19.8m
Tower 5 68ft 20.6m
FACT: Each pair of track cables is tensioned by counterweights at the Valley Station, weighing in excess of 120 tons each.
FACT: The haul and counter ropes are tensioned by a counterweight at the Mountain Station weighing 67 tons.
FACT: Other rotating trams in the world:

Mt. Titlis, Engelberg, Switzerland
Operates winter and summer

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
Operates year round

Bring the kids, or come play like kids…

To an affordable getaway that offers endless activities paired with casual relaxation. Palm Springs is where you can be yourself and everyone is welcome. Whether you're planning a family vacation, a couple who wants a romantic retreat, or planning a vacation with your friends… Palm Springs is "fun in the sun" year-round.

From palms to pines…

You'll discover an outdoor playground surrounded by breathtaking mountains and canyons. Explore miles of hiking trails, ride on the world's largest rotating tramcar, or challenge yourself to a round of golf at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs.

Family fun adventures…

Begin at Knott's Soak City water park, explore a collection of vintage World War II aircraft at the Palm Springs Air Museum, then experience The Living Desert, a 1,200-acre wildlife and botanical park

Palm Canyon Drive lives up to its name…

Shopping modern boutiques and antique galleries on the palm-lined avenue, dining alfresco in a charming cafe… this is relaxation at its finest. Beautiful artwork, handcrafted items and street entertainment are offered every Thursday at the outdoor Villagefest in downtown Palm Springs.

Art, theater, music and gaming…it's all here!

Enjoy the long legged lovelies of the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, then enjoy a player's paradise at the downtown Spa Resort Casino. The Annenberg and Palm Canyon Theatres offer up a season of live drama, comedy and music for theater lovers. Stroll through the world-class collection and sculpture garden of the Palm Springs Art Museum, or discover local artists on an evening art walk.

Adventure Hummer Tours TCP #21791

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

Beeline Airways / Palm Springs Biplanes

The Best of The Best Tours / TCP #012811S

Big League Dreams Sports Park

Big Wheel Tours TCP #21325

Bob Hope Classic

Boomers Family Entertainment Center

BT West's Celebrity Tours

Cabot's Old Indian Pueblo Museum

Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Coachella Valley Reserve

COD Alumni Street Fair

Desert Adventures

Desert Hills Premium Outlets

Desert IMAX Theatre

Elite Land Tours

El Paseo Shopping Avenue


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