Living Desert Trails to Reopen for the Season

It's a sure sign of fall at the Palm Desert destination.

WHILE COLORFUL LEAVES, or even snow flurries, can signal when a seasonal change has arrived in certain locations, residents who love the California desert can turn to other year-in, year-out signals. Animals tell us much, and there's a moment when the desert tortoise goes into hibernation, as temperatures grow cooler. The slant of sunlight, and those long ocotillo shadows, has a way of taking on its own autumnal aura come October. And over at The Living Desert, the Palm Desert-based animal park that loves upon the scaly, furry, and feathery denizens of the arid clime? A big sign is when the expansive hiking trails reopen after the hot summer run of beyond-toasty afternoons. And, as is tradition, October is the month to watch if you love your desert hiking. So make for The Living Desert on...

MONDAY, OCT. 1, 2018, if you want to be one of the first people out on the trails. These Eisenhower Peak trails "suit a range of hiking experience levels," and you'll truly get a chance to stretch a leg, for "1080 of our 1200 acres are undisturbed Sonoran Desert." There's the Inner Loop, the Middle Loop, and the Wilderness Loop to choose from, and, if you're a hiking beginner, you might choose to go Inner (the Wilderness Loop "is for the adventurous," says The Living Desert site). The Middle Loop? It's a betweener, with a mile of desert-amazing sights and sounds to soak up.

WHAT MIGHT YOU ENCOUNTER? The area is lush with critters and cool flora, so keep your peepers peeled for lizards, roadrunners, and a host of fantastic animals, both of the ground and in the sky. Details on the trails and all of the natural wonders of The Living Desert? Tie on your trainers and trek in this direction, now. Also of note, on Oct. 1? The animal park makes a return to its regular hours, meaning you can visit later in the afternoon thanks to the milder temperatures of fall.

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