The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert will reopen additional amenities to the public starting next week, it was announced Friday.

Three nature preserve hiking trails are set to reopen Oct. 1, along with the zoo gift shop, with protocols in place to guard against the spread of COVID-19.

Animal lovers can also enjoy the zoo for a longer time period starting Oct. 1 as the Living Desert shifts out of its shorter summer operating hours. Gates will start opening at 8 a.m., and the zoo and amenities open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with last admission at 4 p.m.

“Now that we have some cooler weather ahead, we are looking forward to returning to our regular, seasonal hours,” said Allen Monroe, president and CEO. “As an outdoor facility, our visitors can enjoy time with their families and see some amazing desert animals. We continue to follow the latest guidelines from the state and county health departments to keep our guests, staff and animals safe.”

Zoo-goers are invited to enjoy the nearly 80-acre property amid COVID-19 safety protocols, including required face coverings, a cap on guest capacity and timed ticketing.

After shuttering for nearly three months, the Living Desert reopened to the public on June 15. Zoo officials said they worked with both state and county officials in creating specific precautions to guard against COVID-19, which remain in effect and include a limit on entry to 200 guests per hour with a maximum of 1,000 guests per day, including both members and daily visitors.

All tickets must also be purchased in advance, including tickets for members, using the zoo’s online system. Tickets can be reserved up to two weeks in advance for contact-free and expedited admissions.

For additional information on the zoo’s safety protocols, visit

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