A FREE Class and Field education series offered by
Mt. San Jacinto Natural History Association
in partnership with
Mt. San Jacinto State Park
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” John Muir .

“True appreciation of landscape comes only when one is alive to both its beauty and its meaning.” Fritiof Fryxell

Getting In Touch With Nature,  Class and Field programs offer participants the opportunity to cultivate a more intimate connection with nature through education and immersion in the magnificence of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Taught by highly qualified and dedicated educators in their respective fields, the class sizes are limited to optimize the experience for each participant with personal care and attention. These free offerings are a rare opportunity to enrich, through knowledge and experience, your appreciation of this special high mountain wilderness, each and every time you visit Mt. San Jacinto or indeed any wilderness environment. This is knowledge that keeps on giving.

Class & Field
Information and Registration

Registration: Reservations are required for all Class and Field programs at least three (3) days prior to the event. Each individual wishing to attend one or more classes must make a separate reservation. Reservations may be made online at Click on the highlighted title of each program(s) you wish to attend and simply fill in the booking form with your full name, phone number, and email address. Class size is limited. Register early to reserve your place.Questions? Email us at  

Confirmation: You will receive a confirmation email of your booking and, subject to approval, a confirmation of your reservation with any additional pertinent information related to the conduct of the class. For some hikes, it is required that enrollees be pre-qualified for physical fitness before approval to participate.  This procedure may be simply an interview by phone or attending a prerequisite less demanding hike program.

Release of Liability:  (To see the document click on the highlighted text)
When signing up for any program which includes any physical activity, it is implicit with your enrollment that to the best of your knowledge you are physically fit, able to undertake the physical demands prescribed for the program, notwithstanding changing weather conditions or route difficulties that may arise.  A Release of Liability form will be provided with the class confirmation which must be read, signed and submitted to the class instructor at the beginning of the program. Alternatively, you may access it online, print, read and then sign when the event convenes.

If you have any concerns about the demands of any of the hike programs please don’t be shy to let us know by email,   We will be in touch to address your concerns.

Class Cancellation Policy:  Minimum enrollment policy varies with different classes. Any class with less enrollment than the minimum required may be canceled. Those enrolled will be notified by email or phone at least five (5) days in advance of the class date. While we expect such a cancellation will be rare, to minimize premature cancellation, we do advise early enrollment for any class.

Preparation: Proper clothing and sufficient water are paramount. Be prepared for the unexpected. There is no place like the mountains for sudden changes in the weather. Snacks, lunch, water, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and plenty of water for energy and personal comfort. See requirements for each program to make sure you are properly prepared, especially for the more demanding Hike series!

Palm Spring Aerial Tramway: The Adult fare is $25.95, Seniors $23.95, Summer and annual passes are available. Current members of the Mt. San Jacinto Natural History Association (NHA) are eligible for a 20% discount for themselves and 6 family/friends for each tram fare. Additionally, there are discounts offered by the cafeteria  and the tram gift shops ( see below for discount details.)

Tram Departures: Arriving on time for classes – See schedules for each class.
We recommend arriving at the Valley Station 1 hour before class time to allow for ticket purchase and possible wait line for boarding the tram. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED  to buy a tram ticket in advance, online or at the ticket counter, for the 9 a.m. and earlier departures. Weekend tram service begins at 8 a.m. with departures thereafter usually every 12 minutes or so. Depart from the valley station at least one-half hour before class time. By doing so is assurance for arriving on time for the class. Online tickets are limited.  Order early!  Go to  If online tickets are not available many tickets are still available for walk-ins.   Note, if for any reason you are unable to use the ticket on the day reserved, tickets purchased in advance at the tram website, or on-site, are good anytime for 1 year from the date of purchase.
Tickets purchased from 3rd parties are only valid on the reserved date.

NHA Membership and Discounts:  If you wish to join the NHA visit our website at . Click on Membership Application, then By Mail or Pay Now by Credit Card PayPal. Annual membership is $25 adult (18 yrs +), $20 senior 55 and over, $20 student, $35 live-in family. Again, current members of the Mt. San Jacinto Natural History Association (NHA) are eligible for a 20% discount for themselves and up to 6 family/friends for each tram fare. Additionally, there is a 10% discount offered for the Peaks Restaurant and Pines and Cascade Cafes and the Valley and/or Mountain Tram gift shops. These additional discounts are limited to NHA members only. Some restrictions apply. A 30% merchandise discount is offered at the NHA Visitor Center on the first floor.




Hiking Course Series
Class and Field Studies

Be prepared for the season:  The Ten Essentials of Wilderness Travel and Map and Compass courses

Instruction and hikes will be led by  Wilderness Patrollers Teresa Gaulin and Sandy Jones with/or other highly qualified members of the Mt San Jacinto State Park Wilderness Hasty Search and Rescue Team. Join them for the hiking series Getting In Touch With Nature.  While hiking to seldom seen backcountry splendors of the Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness, the experts will share with you their knowledge and skills gained from years of experience on the mountain. The Class and Field programs are a great opportunity for hikers and backpackers of all levels to hone their skills and, incidentally, meet others with shared interests!


Remember, if you are already an NHA Member, you (and up to 6 in your party) will receive a 20% discount on tram fares when you show your membership card.


Click on the event for details.


Birds on The Wing:  Saturday, May 26, 8:30 to about noon.

Creation of The Cosmos: Saturday, June 9, 8 to 10 p.m.

A Guided Wilderness Hike Just for You: Saturday, June 16, 8:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon.  

10 Essentials of Wilderness Travel, Training and Backcountry Hike, Saturday, June 23, 8:30 a.m. to around 1 p.m. 

Birding In Mountain Forest And Meadow  Sunday, June 24, 8:30 to about noon

Discovery Hike  Saturday, June 30, 8:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon.

Refuge From The Heat: Sky Islands And Climate Refugia In The Deserts Of Southern California. Saturday, July 7, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Destination: Saturn  Saturday, July 14,  8:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Discovery Hike  Saturday, July 28, 8:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon

Map And Compass Course And Backcountry Hike  Saturday, August 4, 8:30 AM to early afternoon. 

The Hubbub about Hubble  SaturdayAugust 11, 8:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.  

Mountain Photography Workshop Saturday, August 18, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Discovery Hike  Saturday, August 25, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The Making of Mt. San Jacinto SaturdaySeptember 1, 9:00 a.m. to about 12 noon

The Destruction Of The San Jacinto Mountains  SaturdaySeptember 8, 9:00 a.m. to about 12:00 p.m. 


Birding the Fall Migration  Monday, October 8, 10 a.m. to about 12 noon.

Sky Islands And Climate Refugia In The Deserts Of Southern California  Saturday, October 13, 9 a.m. to about 12 p.m.


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