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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    242 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    7.7 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail


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    Table of contents

    The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail is a fun adventure in Palm Desert, California that will take you through some rugged terrain for views of the Coachella Valley. While out hiking the trail, you will make your way uphill across some rocky terrain to reach a viewpoint over the valley, before descending through a small gully on the return leg of the hike. Hikers should take note that you will need to pay an entrance fee for the zoo in order to access the trailhead.

    Route Description for The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail

    The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail is a popular hiking route that begins at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, meaning that parking is plentiful, but so are the volumes of hikers along the trail. If you want to avoid the crowds, try to arrive as early as possible. Additionally, a small portion of this hike is rocky and rugged, so make sure to wear proper hiking boots.

    Although you need to pay to access this trail, you will also be able to explore the Living Desert Zoo for the same fee, making this a fantastic outing for a great day of family fun. Along the trail, you will experience beautifully scenic views of the surrounding desert landscape, the Coachella Valley, and Eisenhower Mountain, which only adds to the fun you will have on this great hike in the San Bernardino National Forest!

    After paying your entry fee and enjoying some time at the zoo, you will set out on the Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail by heading to the northeast to pick up the path. Here, you will head left at the fork and continue on to the east across the desert landscape for 0.9 km, before arriving at a junction in the trail.

    Following the path on the left, you will continue across the relatively flat desert in the direction of Eisenhower Mountain to the southeast, where you will soon begin climbing up through the rugged foothills.

    Take some time over the next 2.8 km to enjoy the sweeping views of the surrounding desert landscape and the nearby Coachella Valley, as you continue uphill until you reach the lower slopes of the mountain. Here, the trail will turn to the south and begin to descend slightly through the rocky terrain to reach the dried up bed of a stream.

    Continue along the rocky trail as it bends to the northwest and takes you along the stream bed for the final leg of the hike. Keeping straight for 3.0 km, you will eventually arrive back at the starting point of the Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail, where you can spend some more time exploring the zoo if you wish.

    Insider Hints for The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail

    • There is a fee of $25 per adult to enter the zoo, after which you can hike the trail.
    • This route is fairly rocky, so good boots and hiking poles will come in handy.
    • Dogs are not permitted along this route.

    Getting to the The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail Trailhead

    The starting point for the Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail can be found at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:


    • When to do:


    • Pets allowed:


    • Family friendly:

      Older Children only

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    The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail Elevation Graph

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