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Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Vacation Travel Guide

Between meeting animals from across the world and exploring nature trails through the Sonoran Desert, expect an exotic experience in southern California. 

Discover the deserts of the world and their wild inhabitants at Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. The zoo, located in Palm Desert, is home to hundreds of animals from North America and Africa. Explore its interactive exhibits, hiking trails, recreated habitats and more.

Transport yourself to the deserts of Africa on a safari through the Living Desert. In the Africa area, see some of the most endangered animals in the world, such as slender-horned gazelles and addax. Meet cheetahs, meerkats, warthogs, fennec foxes, giraffes, ostriches and more. Take a moment to appreciate the variety of exotic African plants in the park, such as acacia and kokerbooms.

Learn about the deserts of North America on your exploration of the Living Desert’s vast exhibits. As you approach Eagle Canyon, watch for coyotes, wolves, mountain lions and bobcats. Native birds of prey such as hawks, eagles and vultures soar overhead. In the Bighorn Mountain area, check out the rare desert bighorn sheep. The plant life is equally varied, featuring everything from Sonoran tree beargrass to a colorful sage garden.

Enjoy an educational and entertaining Wildlife Wonders Presentation featuring smaller park residents including hedgehogs or snakes. See a performance in the Tennity Amphitheater.

Take a break from the sunny outdoors and check out the Discovery Center. See and touch replica fossils or relax in the night sky simulation room. Outside, take a spin on the Endangered Species Carousel.

Explore the Living Desert’s network of well-marked trails ranging from 0.25 to 5 miles (0.4 to 8 kilometers) through the Sonoran Desert. Depending on the level of adventure you’re seeking, set out on the Inner Loop, Middle Loop or Wilderness Loop through the undisturbed wilderness. Note that the trails are closed during the summer due to very hot conditions.

Visit Living Desert Zoo and Gardens any day of the year except Christmas Day. Between June and September, the site operates on a reduced summer schedule. Purchase tickets online before your visit or at the welcome center. Note that certain attractions, such as camel rides and giraffe feedings, are not included in the cost of general admission.

Top things to do in Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Top Hotels Close to Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Close To El Paseo Contemporary Casita
Close To El Paseo Contemporary Casita
48798 Mescal Ln, Palm Desert, CA
Get Rates

Situated in Palm Desert, this apartment building is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from San Jacinto Mountains and 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. El Paseo ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (40 reviews)
Ironwood Casita

"My friends rent in Ironwood so I was looking for a quick convenient way to stay nearby. George was great at communicating the check in process and the place was easy to find. The interior was cozy and comfortable. Would stay here again."…"

Reviewed on Nov. 30, 2020

Close To El Paseo Contemporary Casita
Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection by Marriott
Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection by Marriott
4 out of 5
45-400 Larkspur Lane, Palm Desert, CA
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $269 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 10

Situated in the shopping district, this spa hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The Gardens on El Paseo and McCallum Theatre. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and River ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (364 reviews)

"Great location and decor. Very clean and friendly staff."…"

Reviewed on Nov. 30, 2020

Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection by Marriott
Midcentury Rose
Midcentury Rose
4 out of 5
47967 Sun Corral Trail, Palm Desert, CA
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Located in Silver Spur Ranch, this holiday home is within a 10-minute walk of San Jacinto Mountains and Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. El Paseo Shopping District ...

Midcentury Rose
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Living Desert Zoo and Gardens Flight + Hotel Deals

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
Embassy Suites by Hilton Palm Desert
Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
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Best Lodging Options Near Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Close To El Paseo Contemporary Casita
Close To El Paseo Contemporary Casita
48798 Mescal Ln, Palm Desert, CA
Close To El Paseo Contemporary Casita
Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection by Marriott
Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection by Marriott
4 out of 5
45-400 Larkspur Lane, Palm Desert, CA
The price is CA $269 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 10
Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection by Marriott
Midcentury Rose
Midcentury Rose
4 out of 5
47967 Sun Corral Trail, Palm Desert, CA
Midcentury Rose
Golf, Relax, Swim, Hike, Enjoy 8 Person Above Ground Spa. The Best
Golf, Relax, Swim, Hike, Enjoy 8 Person Above Ground Spa. The Best
73657 Agave Lane, Palm Desert, CA
Golf, Relax, Swim, Hike, Enjoy 8 Person Above Ground Spa. The Best
Ironwood Country Club Condo - Fabulous Mountain Views
Ironwood Country Club Condo - Fabulous Mountain Views
73651 Boxthorn Ln, Palm Desert, CA
Ironwood Country Club Condo - Fabulous Mountain Views
Ironwood Country Club 2 BR Condo ,
Ironwood Country Club 2 BR Condo ,
44865 Mariposa Dr, Palm Desert, CA
Ironwood Country Club 2 BR Condo ,
Private Palm Desert Condo W/mtn View & Pool Access
Private Palm Desert Condo W/mtn View & Pool Access
73636 Boxthorn Lane, Palm Desert, CA
Private Palm Desert Condo W/mtn View & Pool Access
Classic Contemporary Dog-friendly Home, W/private Pool & Prime Location!
Classic Contemporary Dog-friendly Home, W/private Pool & Prime Location!
73502 Sun Lane, Palm Desert, CA
Classic Contemporary Dog-friendly Home, W/private Pool & Prime Location!
Palm Desert Sun Lane: 3 BR / 2 BA Home in Palm Desert, Sleeps 6
Palm Desert Sun Lane: 3 BR / 2 BA Home in Palm Desert, Sleeps 6
73464 Sun Lane, Palm Desert, CA
Palm Desert Sun Lane: 3 BR / 2 BA Home in Palm Desert, Sleeps 6
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.