Rated one of the top ten zoos in the United States

By Lynne Tucker

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a desert botanical garden and a zoo located in Palm Desert, Riverside County, California, United States. They are in the Sonoran Desert of the Coachella Valley and Santa Rosa Mountains foothills near Palm Springs, California.

They were established in 1970 by several trustees of the Palm Springs Desert Museum who foresaw the impact that resort development would have on their local desert ecosystem. This foresight led to an interpretive nature trail and preserve in Palm Desert.

For nearly five decades, The Living Desert has been engaged in the important work of preserving, conserving and interpreting the desert and all its varied plant and animal life. Even as they take immense pride in their accomplishments over the last 45+ years, they remain as dedicated as ever to the goals that initially inspired them when they first began operations in March of 1970.

Their mission

Desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a nonprofit, accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, ensuring the highest standards of all aspects of animal care, education, conservation, public service, and operations. The Zoo is active in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs and education initiatives around the world, as well as in its own community. The Zoo has been a top attraction in the Palm Springs area for nearly 50 years.

Get your all-day Adventure Pass today

Includes unlimited entry for the following:

Carousel rides

Camel rides

Giraffe feedings

Lorikeets + Nectar feedings

Season Hours:

  • Open Daily October 1–May 31
  • 9am to 5pm
  • Last admission at 4pm
  • Closed December 25th

Summer Hours: HOURS:

  • Open Daily June 1–September 30
  • 8am to 1:30pm
  • Last admission at 1pm

General Admission $20

Children(3-12) $18

Children under 3 FREE

Total Adventure Pass $20

VIP Tours/Group prices please contact for pricing

For more information and directions visit www.livingdesert.org

Think Travel and Enjoy the Journey!

Lynne Tucker is a travel writer and photojournalist based in Palm Desert