Skyline Trail: Cactus to Clouds
The Cactus to Clouds Trail from Palm Springs to San Jacinto Peak has the greatest elevation gain of any trail in the United States. Also known as the Skyline Trail, it climbs 8,000 feet from the desert to Long Valley, then joins with the main trail to gain another 2,600 feet to the summit. The good news is that you can take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway down the mountain!
The Cactus to Clouds hike is long. You start on the desert floor and climb to 10,804 feet. You gain over 8,000 feet in the first 12 miles and much of this is hiking in dry arid desert conditions.
This trail is nearly always completed by returning from the peak to the upper station of the Aerial Tramway and taking it back into Palm Springs. Please note that there is a fee for using the tram.
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.
Regular Hours (September 2, 2018 – May 23, 2019)
Monday – Friday – First Tram up 10:00am
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays – First Tram up 8:00am
Daily – Last Tram up at 8:00pm. Last Tram down at 9:45pm
Summer Hours (May 24 – August 31, 2019)
Monday – Thursday – First Tram up 10:00am
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays – First Tram up 8:00am
Sunday – Thursday – Last Tram up at 8:00pm, Last Tram down 9:45pm
Friday & Saturday – Last Tram up 9:00pm and last Tram down at 10:30pm
Cars depart at least every half hour.
Sorry, pets are not allowed.
Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult of 21 years or older.
The first Tram up is at 8am on the following holidays:
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day Weekend
President’s Day Weekend
Memorial Day Weekend
Labor Day Weekend
Thanksgiving Day Weekend
New Year’s Day