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Take a Walk on the Wild Side

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Getting your daily exercise is easier when you find breathtaking views around every corner. Who doesn’t want to reach their daily 10,000 steps alongside cheetahs, giraffe, and jaguars?

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is home to unique plants and animals, bringing new meaning to a “walk in the park.” Some members say the main reason they purchase an annual pass is to enjoy their morning and afternoon walks. “It’s unparalleled, really,” recalls one member. “There’s so much beauty around and our walks are something we look forward to on a daily basis.”

But that’s not all. If you’re looking for something more challenging than a brisk walk, trek the nature and hiking trails located inside the Zoo. Accessible only from The Living Desert, a hiker can select one of three trails to suit their desired experience of the majestic and undisturbed desert. The Discovery Loop is a brief quarter-mile interlude, while the Adventure Loop rambles for a mile through desert wash habitat and across a rocky bajada. The Wilderness Loop offers an adventurous three-and-a-half mile hike up or down a boulder-strewn canyon and along a rocky ridgeline with stunning and far-reaching vistas.

The Living Desert makes it simple to enjoy your daily walks, as it’s open 364 days a year, closed only on Christmas Day. Regular season hours are October through May, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last admission at 4 p.m. Hiking trails are only open during regular season hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer hours are June through September from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with the last admission at 1 p.m. A major advantage of being a member is the early 7 a.m. entrance every day, just in time for an early morning walk on the wild side.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens membership includes unlimited zoo admission for a year: Individual (1) $79.99; Dual (2) $99.95; Family (2 adults, 4 children) $129.95 (Portion of the membership is tax deductible). General Admission is $19.95; seniors 62+: $17.95; children 3 – 12: $9.95. LivingDesert.org (760) 346.5694.

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