It’s not too late to get tax help! AARP Foundation Tax-Aide has more than 5,000 locations to assist you. Learn more.

Wyler Aerial Tramway

1700 McKinley
El Paso, TX 79930

915-566-6622

History

Wyler Aerial Tramway fulfills the dream of philanthropist Karl O. Wyler, who strongly believed that the lofty views from atop Ranger Peak should be available to the public. He included this wish in his final will. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department accepted donation of the tramway in 1997 and opened it to the public in 2001 following extensive renovation.

The story begins, however, in 1959 when NBC-affiliate KTSM Radio built the tramway to aid the construction of a transmitter antenna and service platform. A real work­horse in its early days, the tiny tram hauled concrete, water, heavy equipment, workers even sections of the antenna itself to the mountain summit. Wyler directed this ambi­tious construction project and, in the process, fell in love with Ranger Peak and its top-of-the-world view.

Privately owned and operated first as El Paso Aerial Tramway, the facility allowed public access from 1960 to 1986. Although it continued to provide access for mainte­nance of telecommunications equipment, high liability insurance costs caused the tramway to close to the public for some 15 years prior to its establishment as a Texas state park.

The tramway operates on a 2,400-foot-long single-span cable system, meaning that there are no support towers along its nearly half-mile length--an engineering feat! From bottom to top, visitors are lifted some 940 vertical feet as they glide high above the rugged terrain below. Swiss-made gondolas carry tramway passengers. A haul rope pulls each gondola on a track rope along its lofty route. These "ropes" are actually the same type of super ­strong cables used in the construction of suspension bridges. To maintain tension, the track cable is anchored at the top of the mountain and tied to a massive 29-ton counterweight at the base station.

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster
Please use "Flag This Place" to alert us about content that is inappropriate or needs immediate attention. Nothing you submit will be shared with other site visitors.

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today

JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in El Paso
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner
JOIN NOW