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Visitor Information

seasonal hours

Open Daily
October 1 – May 31
8am – 5pm

Last admission at 4pm

Closed December 25th

summer hours

Open Daily
June 1 – September 30
7am – 1:30pm

Last admission at 1pm

Free Parking Available   Free Parking is Available

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  • Accessibility

    The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens Welcomes You!

    We are an Access Friendly Organization that is committed to ensuring that our park is welcoming to all and that our programs and services are accessible to the broadest range of people with disabilities.  This is a pledge made by all our employees. We strive to provide a safe, pedestrian-friendly environment where visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy connecting to nature.

    We are committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and California Access Laws. This guide addresses many of the reasonable accommodations The Living Desert provides to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in all park services, programs, and activities.

    If you have needs or questions, please call Guest Services at the Zoo at (760) 346-5694, ext. 2134 or email us at GuestServices@LivingDesert.org.  You will find that we are able to best serve you if you call at least two weeks prior to your visit.  We always welcome calls, comments, and suggestions from our guests.  On the day of your visit, please feel free to discuss any special needs you have at our Guest Services office, adjacent to the front entrance. 

    Please note that access is a field that changes frequently as new information, technology, and laws evolve. We reserve the right to modify this guide and our accessibility policies as appropriate.

    FOR GUESTS WHO HAVE SENSORY PROCESSING NEEDS:

    The Living Desert has partnered with KultureCity to improve our ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory needs. Our objective is to provide an inclusive and seamless experience for all guests for all events including those with sensory needs. We strive to raise awareness of the needs and challenges faced by individuals with sensory processing disorders by supplying our Team Members with continuous training and by offering the resources and accommodations below to our guests:

    Sensory Bags*

    Sensory bags containing special KultureCity VIP badges, fidget tools, noise canceling headphones and other resources are available for checkout (at no cost by leaving an ID) at our Admissions windows or Guest Services Office located at the Zoo Entrance.

    KultureCity Lanyards*

    These allow our sensory challenged guests the opportunity to go to the front of the line at our attractions, such as the carousel and at the Giraffe feeding platform.  

    Weighted Lap Pads*

    Weighted lap pads are also available upon request (at no cost by leaving an ID) at our Admissions windows or Guest Services Office located at the Zoo Entrance.

    Sensory Maps

    Sensory Maps provide our guest with information regarding loud, interactive, crowded, smelly and dark areas.  The map also guides guests to quiet and calm areas.  “Headphone Zone” and “Quiet Zone” signs indicate these areas on Zoo grounds.

     

    FOR GUESTS WITH MOBILITY NEEDS:

    Child Strollers/Adult Pushcarts*

    The zoo offers wide, paved pathways throughout, making exploring accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.  Child strollers and adult pushcarts are available to rent for $5 at either the Admissions windows or the Guest Services Office. These are subject to availability and are on a first come, first served basis. 

     

    FOR GUESTS WITH SIGHT IMPAIRMENT:

    Monocular*

    The zoo offers monoculars to aid our sight impaired guests.  If a sight-impaired guest is accompanied and needs assistance by an aid, the aid is offered a complimentary daytime admission ticket to the Zoo.

     

    FOR GUESTS WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENT:

    Assistive Listening Device* 

    The zoo offers an Assistive Listening Device that can aid hearing.  If a hearing-impaired guest is accompanied and needs assistance by an aid, the aid is offered a complimentary daytime admission ticket to the Zoo.

     

    *These items require that our guests fill out an Equipment Checkout Form and provide an ID and credit card number.  There is a $50 charge for any equipment that is not returned.  

  • Service Animals

    Only working service animals are permitted. If you require a service dog, you must notify the Admissions staff to alert our Animal Care Department. Certain areas of the Zoo are restricted. Please view our complete Service Animal Policy.

    Pets are not allowed in the park. For safety reasons, please do not leave a pet in your car.

  • Helpful Information
    For your safety

    The First Aid Station is located in the entry complex.

    All staff are equipped with radios. If you encounter any problem or emergency, please contact any staff member throughout the park.

    Please wear appropriate attire, including sturdy shoes, hats, sunglasses and cool clothing.

  • General Park
    How do I get to The Living Desert?

    From Highway 111 in Palm Desert, turn south on Portola Ave., then it’s a quick 1.5 miles up the road. Take a left at the main entrance.

    From Interstate 10, take the Monterey exit and head south. Go approximately 6 miles and turn east (left) on Highway 111. Turn south on Portola Ave., then it’s a quick 1.5 miles up the road. Take a left at the main entrance.

    How much is parking?

    Parking is free.

    Can we bring our own food in?

    You can! We have multiple picnic tables throughout the park where you can sit and enjoy lunch or a snack. For the safety of other guests and the animals, please do not bring any glass containers or alcohol.

    How much time does it take to see the entire zoo?

    You should allow 2-3 hours to see everything at a comfortable pace. Make sure to check our Daily Schedule prior to arrival to plan ahead.

    Can I smoke in the zoo?

    For the safety of our guests and animals, we maintain a smoke and vape free environment throughout Zoo grounds, which includes the parking lot.

    Who do I contact to make a donation for my upcoming fundraiser?

    Please submit a Community Donation Request. Due to the large number of requests we receive, please allow 45 days from the event date for us to review and process the request. We are unable to respond to follow-up emails or phone calls. Phone, e-mail, mail and drop-in requests will not be considered.

    Can I bring my dog?

    Pets are not allowed at The Living Desert. For safety reasons, do not leave a pet in your car.

  • Policies and Zoo Rules

    For the safety of all our guests, animals and plants, the following rules must be adhered to while in or around The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. We reserve the right to restrict entrance or require a guest to leave Zoo grounds if these rules are not followed. We also reserve the right to restrict the use of any items or behavior which may be harmful to other guests, animals, or plants.

    • Please respect the animals and treat them as you would like to be treated.
    • Entrance into ANY animal exhibit including the crossing of any barriers, fencing, or gates is strictly prohibited and is considered unlawful under California Penal Code Section 602.13. Parents, guardians, and chaperones should pay close attention to their children at all times.
    • Pets of any kind are prohibited in the park and are not permitted to be left alone in vehicles for any amount of time. Working service dogs that perform tasks for their owners are permitted.
    • The Living Desert maintains a smoke-free environment.
    • The Living Desert is a natural reserve and home to a variety of native wildlife such as spiders, scorpions and snakes that come and go from our grounds and could pose a potential risk. Please refrain from turning over stones or logs and stay on designated paths. If you are fortunate enough to see some of this wildlife, please notify a staff member or volunteer to resolve any situation.
    • By entering the park, through membership or ticket purchase, you acknowledge that your photograph may be taken and used for marketing purposes.
    • To ensure the health and safety of our guests, staff, and volunteers, there will be certain precautions, modifications, and conditions of entry for COVID-19. Learn more>>
  • Photo and Video Image use Policy

    Upon entering The Living Desert, you acknowledge and agree that you may be photographed or videotaped and any such image may be used for advertising or commercial purposes (including, but not limited to: social media, print, television, online, website, and promotional purposes) at the discretion of The Living Desert.

  • Media Policies

    No person may sell or promote for commercial purpose, any image, video, or other medium taken while visiting The Living Desert without contractual permission granted by The Living Desert. The use of The Living Desert’s facilities for artistic purposes including commercials, TV shows, publication shoots, and model shoots must be approved and scheduled through The Living Desert’s Marketing and Public Relations Department. For more information, please call (760) 346-5694.

Please help us keep The Living Desert a fun, safe place where we can continue our important mission of desert conservation through preservation, education, and appreciation. Have a Wonderfully Wild day!

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