Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

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.