Palm Springs: The Living Desert
Palm Springs, California, USA
- Zoo exhibits: See the fascinating desert creatures of North America and Africa including mountain lions, wolves, giraffes, cheetahs, and zebra. Bet you didn’t expect to find them in Palm Springs.
- Botanical gardens: You'll be amazed at the beauty and diversity of plants that thrive in sandy desert soil, including prickly cacti, flowering succulents, and hardy shrubs.
- Wildlife Wonders: Entertaining daily shows highlight how the desert's reptiles, birds, and mammals adapt to, and thrive in, a challenging, often inhospitable environment.
- Indoor discovery center: Explore interactive exhibits and learn about the climate, landscape, and native creatures (past and present) of the Coachella Valley desert.
- Model trains: See one of California's largest G-scale railroad displays, with trains rattling past the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, an old southwest logging town, and more.
About this Palm Springs, California tour
The desert is a harsh environment and its hot and arid. Rainfall is scarce; in fact, more water usually evaporates from the ground than is replaced by precipitation. Temps can soar into the triple digits during the day, and plummet to below freezing at night. Soils can be sandy, landscapes barren, and ecosystems fragile. It is one of the earth's most forbidding places, even for humans. So how do animals and plants live in such conditions? Very nicely, thank you.
The denizens of the desert have developed ingenious ways to adapt to their surroundings. Mammals burrow underground during the day, and venture out at night when it's cooler. Cold-blooded reptiles warm their bodies in the sun and then snooze at night. Desert plants, like cacti, hold onto water for dear life – literally. The rhythms of desert life are all on display here at The Living Desert.
Lately we're seeing that the effects of climate change, including global warming and drought, can make desert life even more difficult. That's why The Living Desert is dedicated to fostering conservation awareness and finding ways to protect the diverse plant and animal species that call the desert home. Through their zoo-based breeding program, one of the world's best, they're helping to restore and reintroduce endangered populations to their wild desert habitat.
In addition to a remarkable 250-acre zoo and botanical gardens, there's an additional 1,080 acres of undisturbed Sonoran Desert, with three hiking trails to choose from based on your desire for adventure and level of experience. Bring your camera to capture the breathtaking vistas, variety of native plant and animal life, and stark beauty of the wild southwest landscape. The desert comes alive at The Living Desert, in a hospitable way, of course.
A mob of meerkats
One of the African desert's most adorable residents is the meerkat, that small, mongoose-like animal immortalized in the Disney movie, The Lion King. Ironically, a group of the furry fellows is called a mob. Mostly they look and act like nosy neighbors, peering around for predators and then alerting their fellow mob-sters to scurry into their burrows. Look for these delightful creatures as you safari through our African desert area.
Please make your way to The Living Desert 47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260
Please remember that this is a desert and as such has extreme temperatures. You should plan your visit according to the season in which you are visiting and the forecasted day's temperatures and dress accordingly. There are many shade trees and misted rest spots throughout the park for your comfort, and even an interactive indoor (nice and cool...the desert at night) exhibit!
The Living Dessert asks that you abide by these rules: Please do not feed or annoy the animals. No smoking in exhibit buildings, cafe or gift shops Visitors are asked to stay on the marked paths and walkways. Plants are for all to enjoy and are not to be picked or trampled.
* NO PETS ALLOWED except for service dogs Do not brings pets and leave them in your car. Temperatures rise quickly in the desert and can be life threatening to your pet.
Closed Christmas Day.
Paved pathways throughout The Living Desert make exploring accessible for strollers & wheelchairs. Adult wheeled strollers & Zebra-themed children's strollers are available at extra cost.
Family Friendly, Wilderness/Wildlife
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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