Wyler Aerial Tramway
Providing the best views in El Paso, the Wyler Aerial Tramway is one of the most popular local attractions, taking guests high above the city and deep into the Franklin Mountains.
Operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Wyler Aerial Tramway complex covers 196 acres on the east side of the Franklin Mountains State Park. The swiss gondolas travel to and from Ranger Peak, showing guests a stunning view of the rugged mountain and rock formations, the city of El Paso, and unique views of cacti gardens all along the way. The parking lot sits 4,697 feet above sea level, and the tip of Ranger Peak sits at 5,632 feet above sea level. From the peak, you will be able to see 7,000 square miles, 3 states, 2 nations, and seemingly endless Southwest beauty in every direction. There is a gift shop, restrooms, and a viewing platform at the top of the peak to take advantage of before coming back down.
The tramway was a project that fulfilled the dream of philanthropist Karl O. Wyler, who believed the 'lofty views from atop Ranger Peak should be open to all.'. He put his wish for the tramway in his final will, and it was donated in 1997, opened to the public in 2001 after heavy renovation. Technically speaking, the tramway is operated on a 2400 foot long single-span cable system with no support towers along the 1/2 mile length, a truly impressive engineering feat. The swiss gondolas are pulled by suspension bridge 'ropes', which are tied to a 29-ton counterweight at the base. The entire system rises 940 vertical feet.
Teachers will love the fact that this is a Texas Aquatic Science Certified Field Site, and nature lovers will love that it is a popular birding site! El Paso is a natural flyway, and this site, in particular, holds the Hueco Tanks State Historic Site and Feather Lakes, established by the Texas Audobon Society for the migrating bird population.