The Living Desert: Early Hours Start

Arrive at the Palm Desert-based animal park at 8 a.m. for a peek at the giraffes, and tortoises, and wolves...

MORNING PERSON, EVENING PERSON, or the sort of person who likes the afternoons best, as long as there's a cup of strong coffee nearby and a few cookies? We all align with particular points in the day, in terms of how energetic, awake, and generally vibrant we feel. But you don't have to dig too deeply into desert weather to know that, come the early days of June, temperatures are heating up. This fact suits many of the arid area's resident beasties just fine, of course, as they and their ancestors have lived with the sunshine and toasty summer heat for eons. But this also means that you're more likely to find the scaly, furry, beautiful animals of the desert...

A BIT MORE BUSHY-TAILED... before high noon, when life gets a mite sleepy and a nice patch of shade, and a bowl of water, is in order. With this in mind, The Living Desert, like many animal parks in drier, warmer places, has again launched its summer hours, which simply means this: You can commune with the Mexican wolves and giraffes and Mojave Maxine, the desert tortoise, beginning at 8 o'clock in the morning. It's also worth nothing that the final admission of the day will be sold at the Palm Desert-based destination at 1 p.m., so earlier definitely is better during the June 1 through Sept. 30 stretch.

THE LATER HOURS... will return, in the autumn, and The Living Desert's popular hiking trails will again open, after staying shuttered for the summer. Haven't spied the superstars of this place-specific animal park? This summer could be your moment.

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