Heading up to Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for some bouldering? Be sure to get the beta before you go.

Tramway bouldering is an excellent way to escape from the desert heat below. With a huge temperature drop, you'll go from the sweltering heat of Palm Springs to crisp mountain air in just a quick ride up the tram.

Tramway is the best option for bouldering when it gets too hot in So Cal. There are plenty of moderate boulders ranging V4-V6, which makes it an excellent place to transition to the outdoors for indoor gym climbers. Those with ankle injuries or a fear of heights will love this low-ballers paradise. You'll 'enjoy that fresh mountain air', so long as you can tolerate the crowds, ticket fees, and lines at the Tram station.

- Bridget Kilgallon @bkall.day

At the top, you'll find brisk air, pine trees, and perfect granite crimp lines. With the exception of a few magnificent high balls, the bouldering here is relatively low to the ground. This makes Tramway an excellent choice for those who prefer to do the hard pulling low to the ground. Bring a few pads, as the landings are sometimes uneven.

Trip Beta: Travel Tips for Tramway bouldering

ACCESS NOTE: Getting to Tramway isn't cheap. You'll have to pay for a ticket to ride the tramcar up from the mountain floor to the summit. Single-use tickets are available for the day, or you can purchase an annual pass. With recent renovations to the parking, there may also be a fee to park at the base. Visit the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Website for ticket prices and information.

Navigating the lines and crowds on the tram can be a bit of a nuisance, and can add quite a bit of time to your approach. But hey - at least the Spanish flamenco guitar playing from the speakers will ease your woes.

Once on the mountain, be sure to fill out a backcountry permit at the cabin on the trail. Return your stub at the end of the evening, and DON'T miss the last tram car! It typically leaves at 6PM. If you catch the night tram the view of the city lights below is stunning.


Looking for some nearby Southern California bouldering destinations? Check out the guides below:
Joshua Tree Bouldering
Black Mountain Bouldering

Access: Climbing etiquette when bouldering at Tramway

As always, be sure to educate yourself on leave no trace principles for the area. Backcountry camping is not permitted in the area. Tension has grown a bit with the rangers when boulderers began stashing pads and illegally camping. Fires are also a big no. They can lead quickly burn across the mountain if they get out of control.

Resist the urge to feed the raccoons at the tram station - they're not that cute and have become downright aggressive.

Read more about the seven principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) in our article: What is the Leave No Trace Philosophy?

Because the location to Tramway is rather convenient, it is a highly popular area for climbers and tourists alike. This can make getting to the boulders a bit tricky and time consuming, so the earlier you get there, the better. The climbing on this granite does cater more towards lowball boulders, but don't let that fool you, often times these crimps bite back and beta may not always be apparent. Though it is better to chase shade since the rock can bake easily.

- Jackie Trejo @jackietrejo_
Snow in the desert? Only at the top of the Tram. Photos by Keenan Herbon

Girl Beta: Bouldering Videos for Tramway

Sometimes it helps to get another woman's perspective on which boulder problems to get on. Below you'll find a selection of female favorites, and a great roadmap on which routes to add to your tick list when visiting Tramway.

Warning: If you're climbing onsight, scroll no further. Spoilers ahead!

Emerald City - V0 *Ultra Classic*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdEw_GA4v5s
Jackie Trejo climbs the magnificent high ball Emerald City V0 in Tramway

If you haven't climbed the Emerald City boulder, you really haven't lived yet. Fear not, this intimidatingly large boulder is very approachable, flowy, and comfortable. Don't sweat the height, and enjoy the view from the top!

Terminator - V2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m3_BLZBrE0
Jackie Trejo climbs Terminator V2 in Tramway

Frank's Roof - V3 *Dynamic*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZpwHh1oALY
Jackie Trejo climbs Frank's Roof V3 in Tramway

If this classic V3 feels hard, well... that's because it is. Prepare for lift-off with this dynamic roof problem!

Ebonic Woman - V3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ6gRFbjCjs
Jackie Trejo climbs Ebonic Woman V3 in Tramway

White Flight - V3 *Highly Recommended!*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZHcH5zXdZ0
Jackie Trejo climbs the beautiful and technical highball White Flight V3 at Tramway

If you're new to high balls the White Flight boulder is sure to get you hooked. Enjoy technical movement on bulletproof crimps all the way to the top. This climb is just difficult enough to keep you on your toes, without too much butt puckering.

Ceramic Salamander - V4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmUsgCwWoyY
Jackie Trejo climbs Ceramic Salamander V4 at Tramway

Blade Runner - V4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkWcDyYm1kk
Jackie Trejo climbs Blade Runner V4 at Tramway

Reverse Traverse - V4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMjw9NkHQsM
Jackie Trejo climbs Reverse Traverse V4 at Tramway

Aquaman - V4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_2zDo6y0Pc
Maddy Volo climbs Aquaman V4 at Tramway

Humping The Walrus - V4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYc0eUY8qQ8
Jackie Trejo climbs Humping The Walrus V4 at Tramway

March Arête - V4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GdO-EsZOdk
Jackie Trejo climbs March Arête V4 at Tramway

Frank's Problem - V4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpR8sNfIZMo
Jackie Trejo climbs Frank's Problem V4 at Tramway

Black Cauldron - V4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCBB6UzPKkQ
Jackie Trejo climbs Black Cauldron V4 at Tramway

Black Top - V4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgIkwHpljLs
Jackie Trejo climbs Black Top V4 at Tramway

Standing On The Head of the Dragon - V4

https://youtu.be/e7AF_9bs8lg
Bridget Kilgallon climbs Standing on the Head of the Dragon V4 at Tramway

The Swedge - V5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-1hUtgKuCU
Maddy Volo climbs The Swedge V5 at Tramway

Crack-O-Pop - V5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVJxZpKm_W0
Jackie Trejo climbs Crack-O-Pop V5 at Tramway

Pancake House - V5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCIZW0nZE44
Jackie Trejo climbs Pancake House V5 at Tramway

Gold Crack Right - V5

https://youtu.be/HemHH6EYBk4
Bridget Kilgallon climbs Gold Crack Right V5 at Tramway

Slytherin (Slitherin) - V5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-XB-cqYZo0
Jackie Trejo climbs Slytherin (slitherin) V5 at Tramway

Organ Grinder - V5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcK6P2EeG68
Maddy Volo climbs Organ Grinder V5 at Tramway

Tooth Fairy - V6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1lML6O6Jsg
Jackie Trejo climbs Tooth Fairy V6 at Tramway

Methane - V6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTKekBtPdws
Jackie Trejo climbs Methane V6 at Tramway

Power Windows - V6 and Red Spark - V6

https://youtu.be/-fuYwwPWGyg
Bridget Kilgallon climbs Power Windows V6 and Sonia Rackelmann climbs Red Spark V6 at Tramway

Memory Loss - V6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enWNe3OphR8
Jackie Trejo climbs Memory Loss V6 at Tramway

Only The Good Die Young - V6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56Ji3nOo1vs
Jackie Trejo climbs Only The Good Die Young V6 at Tramway

Malcomb - V6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21lUgFUAw7k
Maddy Volo climbs Malcomb V6 at Tramway

Swing Dance - V7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4I4Hi0jtJ0
Maddy Volo climbs the crimpy traverse Swing Dance V7 at Tramway

Enough Snuff - V7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCXRKPf7je8
Jackie Trejo climbs Enough Snuff V7 at Tramway

My Infested Destiny - V7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-kXiu7pqEg
Maddy Volo climbs My Infested Destiny V7 at Tramway

Fists of Fury - V7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WgcKOAhTuc
Maddy Volo climbs Fists of Fury V7 at Tramway

Barefoot Sharma Arête - V8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzKmmfuxnJI
Jackie Trejo climbs Barefoot Sharma Arête V8 at Tramway

Year of the Cat - V9

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNRIllXcii4
Maddy Volo climbs Year of the Cat V9 at Tramway

The Left Hand of Darkness - V9

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1z2xOBbxNM
Maddy Volo climbs The Left Hand of Darkness V9 at Tramway

Green Peace Sit - V10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47GJ3gEzXfo
Maddy Volo climbs Green Peace Sit V10 at Tramway

The Right Road - V10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kKJ19lmARc
Maddy Volo climbs The Right Road V10 at Tramway

Big shout out to the climbers who provided these videos! You can follow their sends on the following links:

Would you like to contribute a beta video for Tramway? If so, just contact us below:

January 28, 2020 — Bridget Kilgallon
Tags: Outdoors

Welcome to the Journal: official blog of Tera Kaia Basewear.

Here we tell stories about the outdoors, sustainability, and life through the lens of outdoor women. Get the latest on TK events, and a "behind the seams" look at everything that's going on with our brand.