Wyler Aerial Tramway

Tram Closed…


Wyler Aerial Tramway fulfilled the dream of philanthropist Karl O. Wyler, who strongly believed that the lofty views from atop Ranger Peak should be open to all. He included this wish in his final will.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department accepted his donation of the tramway in 1997. The Tramway opened in 2001 after extensive renovation.

Tramway on cable with view of El Paso below

Tramway Closure

TPWD has operated the tram for the past 19 years. It passed annual inspections each year. But an engineering analysis completed in 2019 concluded that the tram had exceeded its life expectancy and was no longer suited for public use.

TPWD has suspended tramway operations out of an abundance of caution.

The agency, along with local partners, is conducting a feasibility study to look at future options for the tram. Learn more on the Tramway Study page.

Aerial workhorse

The Tramway’s story begins in 1959. NBC-affiliate KTSM Radio built the tramway to aid in constructing a transmitter antenna and service platform. It was 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. In the process, he fell in love with Ranger Peak and its top-of-the-world view.

Public access

The Tramway was privately owned and operated as the El Paso Aerial Tramway from 1960 to 1986. High liability insurance costs led to its closure. During that time, it continued to provide access for maintaining telecommunications equipment.

Tramway structure

Gondola car at upper landingThe tramway operated on a 2,400-foot-long single-span cable system. It had no support towers along its nearly half-mile length - an engineering feat!

Swiss-made gondolas carried tramway passengers. A haul rope pulled each gondola on a track rope along its lofty route. These “ropes” are the same type of super ­strong cables used on suspension bridges. To maintain tension, the track cable was anchored at the top of the mountain and tied to a massive 29-ton counterweight at the base station.

From bottom to top, visitors rose some 940 vertical feet as they glided high above the rugged terrain below.

Download A 360° View of El Paso.