Garden admission tickets
- Non-members, including children, need to present a ticket in order to enter Descanso Gardens
- Buy tickets at the Visitor Center or online
- Daytime ticket prices: $15 for adults, $11 for students or seniors, and $5 for children
- Children four and under are free
Please note that Descanso Gardens is now cashless
What's happeningSee our full calendar
Map of the gardens
Our useful map gives a birdseye view of Descanso
Know before you go
Parking at Descanso
There is abundant free parking at the gardens
Garden etiquette – dos & don’ts
What can you do to preserve the harmony and beauty of Descanso Gardens?
Picnics, food, and smoking
- Picnics, setting up chairs and blankets, and outside food and beverages are not allowed inside the gardens
- Please do not feed or disturb the wildlife, wildlife requires restricted diets and needs peace and quiet
- Smoking or vaping anywhere on Descanso property (including parking lots and the picnic area near the entrance) is prohibited
- Baby strollers and wheelchairs are allowed
- Bikes, motorcycles, scooters, skateboards, roller skates, pogo sticks, or hula hoops are not allowed inside the gardens
Animals and plants
- Pets are not permitted — no animals, with the exception of service animals as defined by the ADA, are allowed into Descanso
- Firearms, horses, and hunting are not allowed
- Please respect the gardens by not picking flowers, leaves or seeds, walking in flower beds, or climbing the trees
- No outside flowers within the gardens, with the exception of approved rental clients
- Pro or posed amateur photography requires an advance permit
- Please review our Descanso Gardens Photography policy for more details
Activities & personal conduct
- All children must remain with an adult
- Personal music devices allowed with headsets only
- Running, throwing balls or toys, climbing, or playing games is not allowed
- Sunbathing is not allowed (shoes and shirts required at all times)
- Bathing, wading, swimming, poking at the fish, or splashing in water features is not permitted
- High voltage wires are overhead: Model airplanes, drones, kites, or metallic balloons are prohibited
Get our current topographic map for a detailed view of the gardens, forest areas, facilities, and more
Check out our prepared itineraries including our Heritage Oak Tour, Fun with Kids, 1-hour Tour, and Hidden Descanso
Photography rules & permits
Can I take family photos in the Gardens?
Yes, you can take a picture of your favorite tree. And you can take a picture of your mom next to her favorite tree.
HOWEVER, you’ll need a permit (and to pay a fee) for most other types of photography. You need a photo permit for:
- Any posed photography (professional and non-professional)
- Pro portrait photos
- Large groups/family group photos
- Special events such as engagements, graduations, maternity photos
- Any photography that includes lighting, props, reflectors
PLEASE review our photography guidelines for all the details on what’s permitted plus info on reserving a photo permit.
Are there food and drink options at Descanso?
Food and drinks are available for sale at two concession locations in the Courtyard: The Market and Jones Coffee at Descanso. (Pssst: We’re opening a wonderful new restaurant in the coming months. Stay tuned!)
Can I bring my own food and drink into the Gardens?
Food and beverages, with the exception of water bottles, are not allowed inside the gardens. You can bring your own food and drinks to enjoy on the picnic tables located at the entrance. Also, refreshments are available for purchase in the courtyard located at the entrance to Descanso.
Can I picnic in the Gardens?
Picnicking is not allowed inside the gardens, but you’re welcome to enjoy food and drinks on the picnic tables right near the Descanso entrance.
Does Descanso have wheelchairs available for rent?
Complimentary wheelchairs – We have a limited number of wheelchairs available at the Visitor Center on a first-come, first-served basis free of charge for use during your entire visit.
Does Descanso have accessible gardens for seniors and people with mobility issues?
We have several excellent gardens located on flat land relatively close to the main entrance. These include the Center Circle, the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Promenade, and the Lilac Garden. All these gardens are easy to get to and wander within.
What are the pathways at Descanso like to walk on?
Descanso’s main pathways are made of asphalt and are very accessible by wheelchair or with a stroller. Our secondary pathways are made of decomposed granite/dirt and are still somewhat accessible by wheelchair or with some strollers. Our tertiary pathways are composed of mulch and are not wheelchair or stroller-friendly.
Does Descanso have a tram or shuttle?
Descanso Gardens doesn’t have a tram. However, if you need help getting to the Sturt Haaga Art Gallery or the Boddy House, we can take you there and back on our golf cart shuttle. Please allow extra time when requesting shuttle service. The shuttle travels only to and from the art gallery/Boddy House and nowhere else in the gardens.
Respecting Wildlife at Descanso
Descanso is home to many animals including birds, deer, mountain lions, bears, snakes, squirrels, and more. Enjoy viewing these creatures, but remember that this is their home and we are the visitors.
It is illegal and harmful to people and wildlife to approach, feed, handle, capture, or harass any animal. Please keep a safe distance. Getting too close, feeding, and touching are all things that can put you and the animal in danger.
To find out more about the animals that live at Descanso or to report an animal sighting, please visit the Visitor Center. Descanso Gardens is not liable for harm caused to any persons on Descanso’s premises, nor for loss or damage to property. Visitors to Descanso Gardens enter at their own risk.
After many rides over generations, we’ve upgraded to a new modernized electric train — Woo Woo!
Guidelines for families, couples, pro photographers, and media members
School field trips
Garden classroom: Self-guided or docent-led tours for qualifying schools with prior reservations
Art meets nature at the Sturt Haaga Gallery
Explore the intersection between contemporary art and garden-centered sciences
Boddy House: a home
Learn about Descanso’s original owner and his 22-room hillside mansion with a view
Gifts at The Store
The Store offers unique artisanal products and an inspiring collection of garden-themed goods
Descanso is a perfect place for any special event — let us help you plan an unforgettable occasion