Drive-Thru the Phoenix Zoo
text and imagery courtesy of Phoenix Zoo

Load up the car with your herd and get
ready for an opportunity to Cruise the Zoo.

Above: This summer, Cruise the Zoo is an ideal way to beat the heat and see the animals.

In response to popular demand, the Phoenix Zoo is bringing back Cruise the Zoo this summer. On Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays ONLY, from 7 a.m. ‘til noon, the event will begin this Sunday, June 6 and run through Tuesday, August 10,.

Although the Zoo has been open to foot traffic since September of 2020, the staff has heard from so many of last summer’s Cruise the Zoo guests that driving through the Zoo was the “perfect way to beat the heat and still see the animals,” and we agree. Now guests can visit from the air-conditioned comfort of their own vehicle.

Above: To enhance your visit, the Zoo provides a narrated tour which provides information, insights, and facts about the animals that you may encounter during your visit.

To preview Cruise The Zoo, Click Here

By reserving every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of the summer months for cruising traffic only, the Zoo will be closed to foot traffic on those days.To enhance your visit, the Zoo is providing a narrated tour, which offers information, insights, and facts about the animals that may be seen along the journey. This audio tour is available on the Zoo’s Cruise the Zoo webpage along with a map of the route, rules of the road, suggested followup activities for the kiddos, and an FAQ document. To view, CLICK HERE.

With the speed limit set at a tortoise-like 4 m.p.h., your visit is designed to be 30- 40 minutes in length. The route will enter and exit at a private gate located in the far southwest corner of the main parking lot with queuing of cars in the lot. 

Having chosen a path that would allow for optimal viewing of as many animals as possible, the route takes guests along the Zoo’s outer Tropics Trail, past the habitats of elephants, jaguars, Aldabra tortoises, and the Thunderbird Charities Equine Center. Your drive will continue on the Zoo’s Africa Trail past rhino, hyena, and lion habitats to the front of the Savanna. Visitors will meander past zebra, flamingos, Monkey Village then wind around the Inner Tropics Trail to pass the Tropical Flights Aviary, orangutan and tiger habitats before exiting the Zoo. 

Above: The route follows the Tropics and Africa Trails.

Many other animals not mentioned are along the route as well but always keep in mind that animals have the choice to be in various parts of their habitats and may or may not always be seen, similar to a typical daily walking visit of the Zoo.

Tickets for this experience including food and beverage, retail, and photo options, must be pre-purchased online. To purchase tickets, as well as the extras listed above, CLICK HERE

Phoenix Zoo members will pay just $50 per vehicle for entrance and the general public fee is $65 per vehicle. All tickets are date and time specific. Once a limit is reached on a particular day, interested guests must select another day. Tickets are non-replaceable and non-refundable. Refunds will not be issued in case of event cancellation due to inclement weather.


The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (ACNC) operates the Phoenix Zoo. The ACNC advances the stewardship and conservation of animals and their habitats while providing experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world. The Phoenix Zoo is the only zoo in the Valley accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is a nonprofit zoological park, serving 1.4 million guests annually. The Zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals, many of which are endangered and threatened species. For information about the Phoenix Zoo, visit