We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A Living Treasure”

Living Desert Zoo & Gardens
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Palm Springs General Admission to The Living Desert
More Info
and up
Palm Springs and Outlet Shopping Day Trip from Los Angeles
Ranked #1 of 57 things to do in Palm Desert
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The botanical gardens of this park offer great opportunities to see desert vegetation.
Glendora, California, United States
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A Living Treasure”
Reviewed July 19, 2013

This is a very modest and small "zoo" by most standards but, for me, that's it';s appeal. It's very easy to handle in a few hours time, even with young kids. The exhibits and environments are attractive and well thought out. Once inside, it';s kind of surprising how much there is to see. During December they have a nighttime festival of lights that is well worth the time to see. The property also has hiking opportunities that make it extra fun. I recommend this as a "must see" for first time visitors to the area!

Visited September 2012
Thank kewlbreezes51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,098 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Wahiawa, Hawaii
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Awesome Every Time!”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Anyone with a love of nature and animals must go to The Living Desert! Having gone as a child and now a few times as an adult, this place is still well maintained and beautiful. The animals are noticeably well taken care of, and the staff is very knowledgeable. The volunteers in the area with the trains are fun to talk with too, as the trains are quite impressive! One word of advice- go when it is cooler, and wear good walking shoes. It gets quite warm and there is not much shade.

Visited May 2013
Thank Crystal R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fun, Well-Maintained Desert Zoo”
Reviewed July 12, 2013

This was a very nice place to spend a morning with our family of 6, including teens and a 7 year old. It is a DESERT ZOO, so go early and bring water. As all the reviews state, by midday the animals are all wisely hiding. We went to introduce the kids to desert animals and environs, and we accomplished that. We have been to many zoos, big and small, and this one was well-maintained, family-friendly, and clean. The staff was very personable and accessible. A fun way to spend the morning before heading up to Joshua Tree.

Visited July 2013
Thank Gangof6_458
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
66 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Nature in the Morning”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

At the suggestion of my aunt and uncle, they took my husband and me to the Living Desert. I had been there before with my aunt but years ago.
We got there early because in the desert the heat is always a factor. What an interesting place this is. You can see the flora and fauna of the region in their natural habitat and enjoy strolling several different venues within the park. I enjoyed watching the hummingbirds flit from branch to branch, all the while chirping to those on the ground.
One of the best attractions was feeding the giraffes and to make things even better there was a new young one on display with her parents. Folks young and old got to share a piece of lettuce with the giraffes.
The other attraction that got my attention in a hurry was the G Gauge model railroad layout in the park. It is an amazing piece of work and I had to wonder at the hours it took to make it happen. There was a mock up of Mount Rushmore, the gold camps and a miniature Grand Canyon. It is a place that any boy (young or old) could spend hours in just watching the two trains running around the tracks.
The Living Desert is a place for everyone to enjoy and a good place to just relax and walk and look at the scenery of the desert. BUT...be sure that you have plenty of water to drink as you stroll the grounds.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Hannibaldiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Will be back!”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

I'm surprised by the comment below... I didn't see small cages, though I've been to zoos in Asia and truly seen some appalling living situations for animals. And of course the animals were "lethargic" and "hiding"... it's triple-digit heat there in the summer! They aren't going to be running around in the sun, for crying out loud.

Anyways, we really enjoyed it. We only saw half of the park simply because we decided to get out of the June sun come lunchtime. We are members of the San Diego Zoo, which is of course a wonderful zoo, but it was really nice to be somewhere a lot quieter and peaceful. Our boys, 3 1/2 and almost 6, really enjoyed it. The setting is beautiful and we will definitely go back in the fall when you can explore the trails (closed during the summer heat). I loved that we were able to feed the giraffes (for free!), and was really impressed with how nicely they have put everything together there. There indoor discovery center was a great stop, with hands-on activities for kids in the A/C, and I really loved the play area they had... it was a perfect place for kids to explore and use their imagination. They also had plenty of benches and shaded areas to rest.

I found the entry fee completely reasonable... we didn't need to use the shuttle, so didn't pay for that. It's not that large of a place, so unless you are injured or elderly, you can get by without it.

A definite "must-do" for a family trip or those who enjoy nature.

Visited June 2013
Thank OkiFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Living Desert Zoo & Gardens also viewed

Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs
Bermuda Dunes, California Desert
Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs

Been to Living Desert Zoo & Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing