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Skyfari Aerial Tram: Exploring San Diego Zoo Like Never Before

February 2, 2024 By CityPASS

San Diego Zoo, renowned for its diverse array of wildlife and unique experiences, offers visitors an unparalleled view from above with the Skyfari Aerial Tram. This gondola lift, not just a mode of transportation but an adventure in itself, presents a unique perspective of the zoo and its surroundings. Let's dive into the thrilling experience of the Skyfari Aerial Tram, exploring its history, the reasons behind its popularity, and useful tips to make your ride an unforgettable part of your San Diego Zoo adventure.

The History Behind the Skyfari Aerial Tram

The Skyfari Aerial Tram first opened its doors to the public in 1969. Designed as an aerial tramway, it was a pioneering effort in enhancing visitor experiences at zoos. Over the years, the Skyfari Aerial Tram has evolved, not only in terms of technology and safety features but also as a beloved feature of the zoo's landscape. Initially conceptualized as a practical solution to transport visitors across the vast zoo grounds, it quickly became a highlight of the zoo experience.

The tram's design and engineering have been regularly updated to provide a smooth and enjoyable ride for all. With each passing year, the Skyfari Aerial Tram continues to enchant visitors, offering not just a ride, but a cherished memory of floating above one of the most scenic zoos in the world. The Skyfari East and Skyfari West stations mark the two ends of this remarkable journey, making it a round-trip experience full of wonder.

5 Reasons Why People Love the Skyfari Aerial Tram

1. Let Your Feet Take a Much-Deserved Rest

The San Diego Zoo is vast, spanning over 100 acres, and exploring it can be quite a walk. Visitors can spend hours traversing the zoo's pathways to see the myriad of exhibits. The Skyfari Aerial Tram offers a much-needed respite for tired feet. This non-narrated ride allows you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights from above.

2. See the Tallest Animals From Above

One of the unique experiences of the Skyfari Aerial Tram is the opportunity to see some of the zoo's tallest animals from a bird's eye view. It's a thrilling experience to spot giraffes and other towering species from the comfort of your gondola. You can also see reindeer as you float by.

3. Cross the Entire San Diego Zoo in Minutes

Walking across the entire zoo can take a significant amount of time. The Skyfari Aerial Tram offers a swift alternative. The scenic ride from Skyfari East to Skyfari West, or vice versa, allows you to cross the zoo in just a few minutes, making it both a time-saver and an adventure. If you exit the tram at Skyfari West, you're in the Northern Frontier and ready to take in the pool bears, arctic fox, and the marsh aviary. If you exit the tram at Skyfari East, you'll be close to the Discovery Outpost, where you can see reptiles including alligators, snakes, and tortoises.

4. Enjoy the Scenic Views of Balboa Park

Apart from viewing the zoo, the Skyfari Aerial Tram offers breathtaking scenic views of the surrounding Balboa Park. The lush greenery, sprawling landscapes, and the urban skyline in the distance make for a picturesque journey.

5. Take Your Kids on a Fun and Thrilling Ride

Children are often the most excited about the Skyfari Aerial Tram. It's a fun and safe adventure for them, and the fact that strollers are allowed on the tram makes it convenient for families with young kids. If your stroller is wider than 23 inches, the zoo provides stroller parking at both tram stations.

Are There Any Height or Age Restrictions for Riding the Tram?

The Skyfari Aerial Tram is designed to be a family-friendly ride. However, there are certain safety guidelines in place. While there are no specific age restrictions, children must be accompanied by an adult. There is also a limit of four people per car, so if you have a larger family, you'll need to split up. It's important to follow all safety instructions provided by the zoo staff for an enjoyable and safe ride.

The tram provides an elevated experience, soaring above the zoo's landscape. This lift ascends to significant heights, offering panoramic views that, while breathtaking, might be intimidating for individuals with a fear of heights. The car does sway a little and is open air. If heights make you uneasy, you might prefer to explore the zoo's wonders on foot, as the aerial tram's high vantage point could be a challenging experience. Always prioritize your comfort and safety while planning your visit to experience a pleasant and enjoyable trip.

What Is the Best Time To Ride the Aerial Tramway?

The Skyfari Aerial Tram is open from 10 a.m. to close. The best time to ride the tram is typically during the weekdays or early mornings on weekends to avoid crowds. Also, riding during sunset offers an enchanting view of the zoo and Balboa Park in the golden light.

Enjoy the Zoo's Memorable Air Gondola Ride With CityPASS® Tickets

Whether you're a first-time visitor or a returning enthusiast, the aerial tramway offers a unique perspective of the zoo's vibrant wildlife and the stunning landscapes of Balboa Park. With San Diego CityPASS® tickets, you can enjoy this remarkable experience along with other top things to do in San Diego, making your trip both memorable and affordable. These tickets offer a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the best of San Diego, including the San Diego Zoo and its iconic aerial tram. Plan your visit now and create unforgettable memories.

San Diego Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in San Diego, we recommend finding lodging near San Diego's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

Header Image ©San Diego Zoo, Courtesy of San Diego Zoo

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