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Palm Springs-The Living Desert

Explore interactive habitats, activities, trails, gardens, and appreciate the world's deserts at the Palm Desert's Living Desert Zoo & Gardens. Just a short drive from Palm Springs, it houses 600+ animals, including rhinos, giraffes, lions, wallabies, jaguars, and more!
Ticket Type
Child age: 3 to 12 yrs old. Under 3 are free.
The Living Desert’s mission is desert conservation through preservation, education, and appreciation. Established in 1970, The Living Desert is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited zoo and botanical garden representing the desert environments of North America, Australia, and Africa with more than 160 species and 1,200 protected acres.


  • Four-acre Rhino Savanna habitat with majestic black rhinos, springbok, and waterbuck
  • Expansive giraffe habitat with incredible views of the surrounding mountains
  • Immersive Australian Adventures area where wallabies hop alongside visitors
  • Two counter service restaurants plus specialty food and beverage locations
  • Over 50 botanical gardens with approximately 1,500 plant species
  • Interactive Petting Kraal
  • Tennity Wildlife Hospital & Conservation Center
  • Bighorn Railroad, one of the largest G-scale model train displays in California
  • Carousel (open seasonally)
  • Hiking trails (open seasonally)
  • Giraffe feeding (additional fee)
  • Rhino Encounter (additional fee, advance reservations recommended)
  • Private Safari Tours (additional fee, advance reservations required)
  • Indoor interactive and educational exhibits for kids
A family-friendly Zoo and botanical garden spread over 80 acres! Come face to face with amazing species from the deserts of the world, including giraffe, zebra, black rhino, Mexican wolf, and wallaby – just a few of the incredible animals that take you from Africa to Australia to North America.

The Living Desert is named one of the “10 Best Zoos in America” by Conde Nast Traveler and USA Today, and a top family pick on TripAdvisor. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, The Living Desert ensures the highest standards of animal care, education, and public service. Each visit to The Living Desert supports the Zoo’s world-class animal care and helps fund more than 60 conservation projects, spanning 12 countries, to protect endangered species and restore their native lands.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ new Rhino Savanna habitat brings visitors into the heart of the African savanna with majestic black rhinos, nimble springbok, and iconic avian species. Discover the world down under in the immersive Australian Adventures, where wallabies bounce alongside visitors, kookaburras sing, and free-flying budgies welcome and delight. Be one with nature in blooming botanical gardens or explore miles of hiking trails with breathtaking views.

DELICIOUS TREATS Treat yourself at one of our delicious restaurants, which feature vegetarian options. There are also several specialty snack and beverage locations with tasty options for both children and adults. If you want to skip the line, mobile ordering is now available at Thorn Tree Grill. With lots of picnic tables and scenic sitting areas, The Living Desert is also a great place to bring your own food for a scenic outdoor picnic!

BEHIND-THE-SCENES ANIMAL CARE Visit the Tennity Wildlife Hospital & Conservation Center for an up-close and behind-the-scenes look at the high level of care the Zoo’s residents receive. Open to the public during normal park hours, you can view medical exams and procedures, hear animal care stories from volunteers, tour the facility, and peruse the exhibits and displays.

HIKE THE COLORADO DESERT Discover the beauty of the pristine Colorado Desert through a series of nature and hiking trails. Three different trails ranging from ¼ mile to 3.5 miles offer scenic views and a skill level from beginner to adventurous. Entrance to the trails is included with admission or membership to The Living Desert. Open October 1 through May 30, the trail system is a memorable way to experience Coachella Valley nature at its best.

TIPS FOR A WONDERFULLY WILD DAY Please plan your visit according to the season in which you are visiting and the forecasted day’s temperatures. Hours are adjusted for the summer season, June 1 through September 31. The Living Desert offers many shaded walkways, paths, and gardens as well as refreshing misted rest spots throughout the park.

So many things to see and do! So, book online today. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert will educate, motivate, and entertain you beyond your wildest expectations.

Operating Times

Oct 1st through May 31st: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm with last admission at 4:00 pm.
June 1st through Sept 30th: 7:00 am to 1:30 pm with last admission at 1:00 pm
Closed Christmas Day.

Reservation Notes

Reservations are now required in advance. Eticket will have details.


3-4 hours

Booth Location

The Living Desert 47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Nearest Intersection

Haystack and Portola


On grounds. NO Charge for parking.

Age Requirements

Child Ticket: 3 to 12 yrs old. Under 3 are free. Discount for Senior Age 62+ and Military


The Living Dessert asks that you abide by these rules:
+ Please do not feed or annoy the animals:
+ No smoking in exhibit buildings, cafe or gift shops:
+ Plants are for all to enjoy and are not to be picked or trampled:
+ NO PETS ALLOWED except for service dogs Do not brings pets and leave them in your car. Temperatures rise quickly in the dessert and can be life threatening to your pet!
+ Drink lots of water

Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes, preferably closed toe. Hats, sunscreen, even an umbrella is recommended for all seasons. Winter day temperatures sometimes warrant a jacket or sweater. Plan an early hour visit in the summer as temperatures can reach 100 degrees by noon. Paved pathways throughout The Living Desert make exploring accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. Adult wheeled strollers and Zebra-themed children's strollers are available for a $3.00 donation | First aid stations, baby changing stations, pay phones and ATMs are available No locker facilities are available Photo Credits: Bert Buxbaum, The Living Desert