The Huntington Desert Garden, San Marino

5.0
#133 of 626 in Nature in California
Desert Garden Must See
The Huntington Desert Garden is part of The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. The Desert Garden is one of the world's largest and oldest collections of cacti, succulents and other desert plants, collected from throughout the world. It contains plants from extreme environments, many of which were acquired by Henry E. Huntington and William Hertrich (the first garden curator) in trips taken to several countries in North, Central and South America. One of the Huntington’s most botanically important gardens, the Desert Garden brought together a group of plants largely unknown and unappreciated in the beginning of the 1900s. Containing a broad category of xerophytes (aridity-adapted plants), the Desert Garden grew to preeminence and remains today among the world’s finest, with more than 5,000 species in the 10 acre (4 ha) garden.
Mr. Huntington was not initially interested in establishing a Desert Garden. He did not like cacti at all, due to some unfortunate prickly pear encounters during railroad construction work. But Hertrich was persistent, and, once won over, Mr. Huntington built a railway spur to his garden, to bring in rock, soil and plants by the carload. As Gary Lyons, a later curator, remarked, it's very convenient to have a rail spur, and deep pockets, when you're building a big garden. A trip to Arizona in 1908 filled three railroad cars for the trip back to the garden.
Our San Marino online trip itinerary planner makes visiting The Huntington Desert Garden and other San Marino attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
Source
Create an itinerary including The Huntington Desert Garden
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
The Huntington Desert Garden Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
154 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Wonderful desert oasis in The Huntington botanical garden. Here you may also see while desert bunnies and lizzards  more »
  • I know I call it hidden peal is not totally appropriate, because this place is huge. I lived in Pasadena for a year almost twenty year ago, but I never went to this place and I did not even realize it...  more »

Plan your trip to San Marino

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in San Marino

Side trips from San Marino

5.0
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 2​h
4.6
Duration: 2​h