Street Address
47900 Portola Avenue
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Mailing Address
47900 Portola Avenue
Palm Desert, CA 92260
phone: 760-346-5694
Season Hours: Open every day October 1 to May 31
Closed December 25
Daily9 AM - 5 PM
Last admission at 4:00pm.
Summer Hours: Open every day June 1 to September 30
Daily8 AM - 1:30 PM
Last admission at 1:00pm
Gift Shop
Group Tours
Karen Sausman, Director
phone: 760-346-5694
Nyla Patzner, Marketing and Public Relations
phone: 760-346-5694


Come adventure through 1,200 protected acres of desert environments representing North America and Africa. During your visit you will encounter over 500 wild animals, live shows, our children?s discovery center, an animal carousel, tranquil gardens, hiking trails with a view of the San Andreas Fault and our G scale model train.

Tennity Wildlife Hospital

The Tennity Wildlife Hospital and Conservation Center has been open since January 26, 2002. While this state-of-the-art facility was conceived and constructed to bring the highest quality of care to The Living Desert's animal collection, it was also designed with The Living Desert's human visitors in mind. Stop by on your next visit.

Desert Plants

The defining precipitation rate for desert is ten inches. Much of the Colorado Desert of southeastern California averages less than four inches of rain in a year.

Plants must find ways to cope with the same daunting conditions that animals face in trying to survive in a desert environment - searing temperatures, desiccating winds, and most important of all - scarcity of life's elixir - water. The challenge is even greater for plants as they are literally rooted to the ground and unable to move in search of more favorable locations when times get tough. Whether it's scorching summer days, freezing winter nights, foraging herbivores or months or even years of rainless drought, desert plants have adapted multiple strategies for existing and even thriving in an arid land.

Become a Member

Become a member today and enjoy free daytime admission to The Living Desert for a full year, with many additional benefits. PLUS your membership supports The Living Desert’s mission of desert conversation through preservation, education and appreciation by providing a reliable source of income that helps us give our animals and gardens the best possible care.


The Living Desert's mission is desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation.


The Living Desert was established in 1970 by several trustees of the Palm Springs Desert Museum who foresaw the impact that resort development would have on their local desert ecosystem.

For almost four decades The Living Desert has been engaged in the important work of preserving, conserving and interpreting the desert and all its varied plant and animal life. Even as we take immense pride in our accomplishments over the last forty years, we remain as dedicated as ever to the goals that initially inspired us when we first began operations in March of 1970.



Lecture Halls

Performance Areas


We are a non-profit, 501c3 (exempt from taxation) organization with a volunteer Board of Trustees (40), and a paid CEO/President.


Foxpaws- Quarterly Member Magazine


Wheelchair Accessible



Thorn Tree Grill

•Thorn Tree Grill is open daily in Village WaTuTu. This patio restaurant serves American cuisine and cold refreshments including beer.

Meerkat Cafe

•Meerkat Cafe is open daily. The menu selection includes fresh, made to order sandwiches and salads, and a choice of beverages and desserts. Try a delicious date shake!

Plaza Gift Shop

•The Plaza Gift Shop is open daily and offers a variety of books, designer jewelry, apparel, art and souvenir items.

Kumbu Kumbu Market

•Kumbu Kumbu Market is a unique gift shop in Village WaTuTu, offering unique African-theme souvenirs and clothing.

Gift Shop


Group Tours