3 Reasons You’ll Love The Living Desert, THE WESTCOTT

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April 11, 2017

3 Reasons You’ll Love The Living Desert

3 Reasons You’ll Love The Living Desert, THE WESTCOTT

The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens is one of the best Palm Springs activities to enjoy while visiting the Coachella Valley. The Living Desert focuses on conservation through preservation, education and appreciation by educating guests about the Colorado Desert and more. This desert conservation project aims to keep a portion of the Colorado Desert in its natural state not only for the sake of the environment, but also so that residents and visitors can appreciate the natural history. While there are many hiking trails to be enjoyed at the Living Desert, there are also interpretive exhibits, programs and publications that educate visitors on this unique ecosystem. Come and see some of the area’s native plants and animals, as well as beautiful desert gardens.

For The Animal Lover

The Living Desert has mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians native to desert of North America as well as Africa, Asia and Australia. Desert animals share four main behaviors in common: avoiding heat, dissipating heat, retaining water and acquiring water. You can see bobcats, coyotes, California Kingsnake, Chuckwalla more than 20 other species. Other fascinating exhibits are spread throughout the zoo, such as a colorful butterfly habitat, an interactive Wildlife Wonders show, and an informative Discovery Center.  This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about nature, both local and exotic, while spending time in some of California’s most beautiful desert scenery.

For The Plant Lover

The Living Desert gardens highlight a diversity of plants growing in harsh desert climates conditions found around the world. More than 1,400 different plant species are represented in four different categories, the majority coming from desert regions of North America and Africa:

  • Geographic: “Immersion” gardening is used to give one a sense of being dropped into the middle of a geographic region. The Living Desert was one of the first public gardens to use the Immersion technique. Featured regions include the Mohave, the Yuman, the Vizacaino, the Sonoran and other North American and African areas.
  • Taxonomic: Plants that share morphological or familial characteristics are displayed together in select gardens. Here you can see categories of Agave, Ocotillo, Sage, Cactus, Yucca and other varieties.
  • Interpretive: Some gardens at the Living Desert impart a message or unified them. For instance, the Cahuilla Garden explores the relationship between the desert climate and Palm Springs’ local band of Native Americans. Other popular Interpretive Gardens focus the natural relationship between plants and butterflies and hummingbirds.
  • Display: Within individual animal habitats, landscaping is used to create a natural backdrop for the species on display.

For The Hiking Lover

The Living Desert traces its roots to the establishment of an interpretive nature trail to document and educate the local citizens during a period of heavy development in 1970. Boy Scouts helped to clear the initial 3 mile nature trail in 1972 and the grounds have grown from 360 acres to 1,200 acres with 1,000 acres remaining in its natural state. There are three trails with varying degrees of difficulty:

  • Inner Loop: A 1/4 mile trail (15 minutes) on a sandy, flat trail providing a brief interlude while touring the exhibits yet experiencing unobstructed desert views.
  • Middle Loop: A 1-mile trail with gradual rises and falls except for a noticeable dip into an arroyo (desert wash). You’ll also get an expansive view of the San Andreas fault.
  • Wilderness Loop: A 5-mile trail for the adventurous traverses a very rocky canyon in the desert with a 1,000-foot elevation change. A covered picnic area waits for you at the top where you have a very good chance of seeing local wildlife. Plan on spending 3-5 hours on the Wilderness Loop.

For The Fine Accomodations Lover

Make POSH Palm Springs Inn your home base for your excursion to the Living Desert. After your day in the zoo and gardens, relax in our large refreshing pool perfect for a quick dip or just lounging around. Float in the pool while you soak up the desert sun and enjoy our complimentary happy hour complete with a frosty POSH martini from 4-5 pm. Our PersOnable Service & Hospitality will have you coming back again and again as you discover all the great things to do in Palm Springs. Check our availability and reserve your room today!

Photo Credit: The Living Desert