Palm Springs Wildlife Guide

Palm Springs Wildlife Guide

You might think of the desert as a vast, barren landscape that is void of life, but that is not the case. The hot climate creates the perfect environment for some unique wildlife in Palm Springs.

Types of Animals in Palm Springs

Here are some of the animals that are native to the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley area.


You and your family or friends can enjoy birding while in Palm Springs. There are many birds in the desert, but some of the most common include the following:

  • Roadrunner: The roadrunner isn't just a cartoon character from Looney Tunes. Roadrunners are a bird species commonly found in the deserts of Palm Springs. The birds are long and slender, and they are known for their strong legs that let them run, rather than fly, away from predators at a quick pace.
  • Gambel's quail: While exploring Palm Springs, you may run into Gambel's quail. These birds also primarily stay on the ground.


There are many native mammals in Palm Springs. The following two stand out due to how the animals have adapted to desert life:

  • Kangaroo rat: One of the most hunted Coachella Valley native animals is the kangaroo rat. The small rodents have powerful legs and strong hearing to help them escape predators. Their survival instinct and biology allow them to go without water for long periods — sometimes even their entire life. 
  • Desert bighorn sheep: A magnificent animal you can see while hiking in Palm Springs is the desert bighorn sheep. The large creatures have impressive horns. Their diet consists of cacti, which helps them endure long periods without water. You'll have more chances of seeing the sheep in areas with cliffs, like near Whitewater Preserve.


Deserts are known to house many reptiles. Some of the most common ones you can see in the Coachella Valley and Palm Springs area include:

  • Coachella fringe-toed lizard: The lizard is native to Coachella Valley and uses a unique technique to stay cool. It burrows under the sand to escape the heat for a little while during the day.
  • Mojave green rattlesnake: Ensure you stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings while hiking in Palm Springs. The Mojave green rattlesnake is one of the most venomous in the world and lives in local deserts. Give it plenty of space and leave it alone if you see one.

View Wildlife in Palm Springs While Staying at KOA

Learn more about the animals in Palm Springs and see them for yourself during a trip to Coachella Valley. Consider Palm Springs / Joshua Tree KOA whenever you need a comfortable place to stay. Book your stay today!

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