October 1 – May 31
8am – 5pm
Last admission at 4pm
Closed December 25th
October 1 – May 31
8am – 5pm
Last admission at 4pm
Closed December 25th
June 1 – September 30
7am – 1:30pm
Last admission at 1pm
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 our Garden lovers, a sand wheelchair is available to rent for $20 and is subject to availability, based on a first come, first served basis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parking is free.
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.
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.
For the safety of our guests and animals, we maintain a smoke and vape free environment throughout Zoo grounds, which includes the parking lot.
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.
Pets are not allowed at The Living Desert. For safety reasons, do not leave a pet in your car.
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.
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.
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!